Pilatus Bank files criminal complaint, Police haul in journalists over leaked FIAU reports

Magistrate investigating Pilatus Bank's criminal complaint demands journalists reveal sources behind leak of FIAU report

Journalists were called in following an urgent criminal complaint filed by Pilatus Bank's chairman
Journalists were called in following an urgent criminal complaint filed by Pilatus Bank's chairman

Police have called in two journalists to demand that they disclose the source who leaked a confidential Financial Investigative Analysis Unit report to them.

Times of Malta journalists Jacob Borg and Malta Independent director Pierre Portelli were asked to testify in front of magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera, who opened a magisterial inquiry following an urgent criminal complaint filed by Pilatus Bank chairman, Seyed Ali Sadr Hashemenijad.

Jacob Borg said in a tweet that the police called him at 10pm last night asking him to appear in court following a criminal complaint filed by the bank. He confirmed with MaltaToday that he did not reveal his sources to the magistrate when he testified in front of her today. 

Borg had reported last month that the FIAU had flagged serious shortcomings in the way Pilatus Bank dealt with politically exposed clients from high-risk jurisdictions like Azerbaijann.

Malta Independent director Pierre Portelli was also summoned to give evidence on a damning FIAU report on PEPs from Malta and Azerbaijan that was leaked to the paper, that was reportedly ignored by the authorities.

In an article on the Independent, Portelli said that Scerri Herrera had asked him to divulge the name of the source who leaked the FIAU report to him. The magistrate cited Article 46 of the Press Act, which states that: “Provided that the court shall not order such disclosure unless it is also satisfied that in the particular circumstances of the case the need for investigation by the court outweighs the need of the media to protect its sources due regard being taken on the importance of the role of the media in a democratic society”.

However, Portelli confirmed that he refused to disclose the name of his source.

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