Judge orders Attorney General to exhibit Pilatus inquiry

Documents from the Pilatus Bank inquiry will be exhibited in court as a result of the ruling

The building that formerly housed Pilatus Bank
The building that formerly housed Pilatus Bank

A judge has ordered the Attorney General to exhibit salient parts of the 2020 magisterial inquiry into Pilatus Bank, upholding a request by rule of law NGO Repubblika.

In a decree handed down earlier today, Madam Justice Doreen Clarke observed that the Attorney General had “limited herself to repeating her view that such a summons ought not to have been issued because this court does not have the power to authorise the handing over of documents which form part of an inquiry.”

However, after hearing the Attorney General’s arguments and submissions, the court said it found no reason to add to or vary its previous decree.

The upholding of Repubblika’s request means that the Registrar of Courts will be called to the witness stand in the next sitting, on June 17, to exhibit the extracts from the inquiry which Repubblika had identified. These include the inquiry file, known as a proces verbal, the report by forensic experts Duff & Phelps which had concluded that Pilatus Bank officials were involved in the laundering of criminal funds, the report on Magistrate Ian Farrugia’s inquiry and its conclusions, as well as his order for new investigations into the money transfers to Egrant.

As a result of the ruling, documents can now be exhibited that would “allow the court to see with its own eyes that what I published a year ago… is the truth and nothing but the truth,” the NGO’s legal and judicial representative, Robert Aquilina wrote on Facebook.

“The Attorney General has been performing legal somersaults for over a year to oppose this request, but the court today upheld Repubblika’s request and rejected Victoria Buttigieg’s misleading arguments,” Aquilina said.

Lawyer Jason Azzopardi is assisting Aquilina.