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Code of silence being used to put lawyers in bad light, Musumeci warns

Government consultant Robert Musumeci weighs into the Adrian Delia controversy: 'Obvious people attacking lawyers on their relations with clients, knowing they could not explain themselves because bound by a professional code of silence'

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
28 August 2017, 12:31pm
Robert Musumeci said the Chamber of Advocates should educate the public on lawyers' responsibilities
Robert Musumeci said the Chamber of Advocates should educate the public on lawyers' responsibilities
Lawyer, architect and the government’s consultant Robert Musumeci has called on the Chamber of Advocates to make a clear effort to educate the public as to the legal restrictions lawyers operate under when it comes to divulging their dealings and relations with clients.

In a clear reference to Nationalist Party leadership contender lawyer Adrian Delia – who is under pressure to justify using a Jersey bank account in his name to process a client’s money derived from prostitution in London, specifically Soho – Musumeci said that lawyers were being “forced to explain reports and relations with clients”.

He insisted that the law itself prohibited such explanations, on ethical grounds as well as legal, and that the criminal code even included the possibility of imprisonment of any lawyer that did not adhere to this cardinal rule of the legal profession.

With reference to current events, Musumeci said these were planned to attack the person involved.

“In my opinion, it is very clear that this maneouvering is being done maliciously, with the ultimate aim of portraying this [lawyer] in a bad light for independent reasons so that he would not be able to explain himself in a clear and unequivocal manner,” he said.

He acknowledged that a democratic society should allow for scrutiny of the legal profession, but said it was equally important that a lawyer not be purposely placed in a situation where he could not explain himself or his actions without breaching the professional code of secrecy.

“In these unprecedented circumstances, I believe the Chamber should inform the public about the responsibilities of lawyers with regards to confidentiality and professional secrecy,” Musumeci said.

“In a democratic society, it is unacceptable that someone uses this reality simply to undermine professionals doing their jobs.”

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...