Appeal on Panama Papers investigation to be heard in public

The appeal proceedings on a magistrate's decision to launch an investigation into money laundering claims against Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri will be held in public

Lawyer and Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi is representing Simon Busuttil
Lawyer and Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi is representing Simon Busuttil

The court has ruled that the appeal against a magistrate’s decision to launch an investigation into alleged money laundering by minister Konrad Mizzi and the prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, amongst others, will be heard in public.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia had decided there was enough prima facie evidence to launch an investigation, following Panama Papers revelations about the secret companies in Panama opened by Mizzi and Schembri and their trusts in New Zealand.

The parties – including Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, former Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman, Nexia BT officials Karl Cini and Brian Tonna and businessman Malcolm Scerri – had appealed the decision. They had also asked that the case be heard behind closed doors.

In comments to the press outside the court today, Konrad Mizzi took a dig at Delia, noting Delia's presence as assistant counsel to Busuttil. "We're happy that proceedings are being held in the open. These aren't proceedings relating to money laundering the proceeds of prostitution."

Former opposition leader Simon Busuttil had immediately insisted that the proceeding should be in open court.

Judge Antonio Mizzi was also asked by the PN to recuse himself from the case on the merit of being married to Labour MEP Marlene Mizzi, who had publicly denounced any criticism against the parties involved in the Panama Papers scandal.

New Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia attended the court sitting this morning, along with Dr Busuttil and  Jason Azzopardi, who had campaigned against Dr Delia him in the leadership election.

More in Court & Police