Simon Busuttil files application for new investigation into Panama Papers allegations

The former PN leader said that ‘institutional paralysis’ was preventing an investigation into the leak

Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil this morning filed a 77-page application again calling for an investigation into the Panama Papers scandal
Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil this morning filed a 77-page application again calling for an investigation into the Panama Papers scandal

Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil filed a court application on Friday morning, arguing that Malta’s institutions had “flagrantly and consistently” failed to act against Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri over the three-year period since the Panama Papers leak.

In his application, Busuttil said that the “institutional paralysis” preventing an investigation into the Panama Papers scandal was in breach of EU law.

In a 77-page application addressed to the duty magistrate on call today, Doreen Clarke, the former PN leader repeats his call for an investigation into the allegations arising from the leaked documents.

He says the country’s institutions failed to act against Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri over a three-year period following revelations in the Panama Papers about secretive offshore structures they had opened.

He argues that this constitutes a breach of the Treaty of the European Union and the EU Charter on Fundamental Human Rights.

The applications states that there is incontrovertible evidence that the subject matter of the crimes it alleges still exists in the shape of paper trails and electronic correspondence which is found on computers and servers in several offices in Malta.

Other documents include Know Your Client (KYC) forms relating to Mizzi and Schembri’s New Zealand trusts, copies of bearer certificates for Hearnville and Egrant Inc and a report by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit into Mizzi, which he says concluded that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that he had committed or attempted to commit money laundering offences.

The former PN leader argues that the failure by various institutions to act against the pair was also I breach of domestic laws and the EU’s anti-money laundering directive.

Busuttil placed himself at the disposal of the Inquiring magistrate to pass on whatever information is deemed necessary under oath.

In January, the appeals court presided by Judge Giovanni Grixti ruled against a request for an inquiry into the Panama Papers, which Busuttil had filed shortly after the 2017 election.

A magistrate had ruled in favour of an inquiry but the decision was appealed by the people indicted by Busuttil, including the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. The appeal dragged on after Busuttil objected to it being heard by now-retired judge Antonio Mizzi.

The case eventually ended up in Grixti's lap after Antonio Mizzi retired and in a ruling this year said the allegations made by Busuttil were "speculative" because they were based on his views and that of third parties without clearly indicating what and who committed the criminal behaviour.

READ ALSO: Why a Maltese judge threw out Simon Busuttil’s complaint for a Panama Papers investigation

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