Simon Busuttil 'is being arraigned', David Casa tells EU

Head of PN delegation to the European Parliament sends open letter to the European Commission and says that Simon Busuttil ‘is being arraigned’

miriam
Miriam Dalli
25 July 2017, 3:53pm
Nationalist MEP David Casa
Nationalist MEP David Casa
Nationalist MEP David Casa has sent an open letter to the European Commission in which he declares that the leader of the opposition “is being arraigned”.

PN leader Simon Busuttil has not yet been arraigned, but the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, has asked the Police Commissioner to investigate Busuttil for “lying under oath, fabricating lies and calumny”.

The police complaint was filed after Busuttil asked the court to investigate the Panamanian company held by Schembri. His audit firm, Nexia BT, had given the go-ahead to open a bank account for the offshore company, despite Panamanian bank BSI requiring minimum deposits of $1 million a year. Schembri has declared that no accounts were held by Tillgate Inc.

In the letter to First Vice-President of European Commission Frans Timmermans, Casa wrote: “The allegations being made [against Busuttil] are completely unfounded. This state of affairs is unprecedented in Malta and is the first time that the Leader of the Opposition is being arraigned.” 

Timmermans has already rejected a similar previous request by Casa: "The Commission is aware that several of the allegations to which the Honourable Member refers are the subject of ongoing judicial inquiries. It is Commission policy not to comment on ongoing inquiries and investigations in individual cases."

In his fresh request, Casa claimed that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, minister Konrad Mizzi and Schembri “implemented a complex scheme of corruption and money laundering immediately after taking office in 2013”.

“Despite FIAU reports requesting the police to act, no action has been taken so far. A FIAU employee, that was recently dismissed claimed that he was removed from Malta’s Anti-Money Laundering Agency for ‘digging too deep’ and that FIAU reports were not so much as registered by the police as is normal practice in such cases,” Casa wrote.

Sacked FIAU investigator Jonathan Ferris told the Times of Malta that he was asked to step away from the Pilatus Bank investigation after it transpired that one of the bank’s employees faced a court case for defaming a number of police officers, including the same Ferris. Ferris however believes that he was sidelined because “they did not want him digging too deeply into the investigations concerning the government”.

Casa told the EU that a number of magisterial criminal investigations were underway. “This is not the normal process. Magistrates had to be resorted to by the Opposition because the police and the attorney general ignored the recommendations of the FIAU.”

A total of three inquiries are currently underway – one surrounding the Prime Minister and two surrounding his chief of staff.

“Now Keith Schembri, who remains the Prime Minister’s chief of staff and one of the people implicated in corruption and money laundering by these FIAU reports has requested the same police to investigate leader of the opposition Simon Busuttil for presenting false evidence. This when the evidence in question results from the Panama Papers and FIAU reports and is public knowledge. This is clearly an abuse of power and an act intended to intimidate those who speak out against corruption,” Casa wrote.

“On the 4th July you claimed that you were not aware of the facts of this case. While I hope that you might already be more knowledgeable now, I ask that you revisit the issue especially in view of the latest developments and that the European Commission takes action to protect the rule of law and democracy in Malta.” 

miriam
Miriam Dalli joined MaltaToday.com.mt in 2010 and was assistant editor fr...