Ministers will have to tell court how they quoted confidential Egrant report

In the appeal case that Adrian Delia filed after the first court turned down his request for the Egrant report to be released in full, the constitutional court decided that ministers must explain their citations for the best administration of justice

Egrant inquiry: the full report was never released
Egrant inquiry: the full report was never released

Ministers Chris Cardona, Konrad Mizzi and Edward Scicluna have been ordered by the constitutional court to testify on court submissions they made, which appear to have come from the as yet unavailable Egrant report.

The constitutional court ruled on Friday that the ministers must explain their citations made in a separate case filed by NGO Repubblika, which called for a magisterial inquiry into the hospitals concession deal with Vitals Global Healthcare.

The text they quoted was not part of the 50-page summary of the Egrant report released by Attorney General Peter Grech last year.

“Since it has been sufficiently proved that declarations of trust exhibited in the records of the inquiry turned out to be false, bearing false signatures, the Commissioner of Police is to start an investigation to determine the persons responsible for the creation, use and circulation of such false document,” they had said in a joint reply.

In a different case, Opposition leader Adrian Delia has asked the court to be granted full access to the 1,500-page Egrant report, which has only been made available to the Prime Minister. The court turned down Delia's request but the Opposition leader has appealed.

It is in the appeal that Delia has now brought up the citations filed by Cardona, Mizzi and Scicluna in the VGH case. The PN leader had said that denying him access to the report was a breach of his fundamental rights and political discrimination.

Delia asked the court to force the three ministers to testify and explain how they could quote from a report that was supposedly inaccessible and confidential.

The Attorney General filed a reply in the constitutional court on 4 July, saying that it was “unheard of” for someone, in this case the three ministers, to testify about evidence in a magisterial inquiry that was, in its nature, confidential.

The constitutional court presided over by Chief Justice Joseph Azzopardi, Mr Justice Noel Cuscheri and Mr Justice Giannino Caruana Demajo weighed the arguments of both parties and decided that for the sake of “the best administration of justice,” the three ministers will be summoned as witnesses.

At the next hearing of the appeal on 29 July, Cardona, Mizzi and Scicluna will have to testify, explaining their citation. 

Lawyers André Portelli and Vincent Galea are assisting Delia.