Justice Commission asked to investigate judge over 'unethical' decree

NGO Repubblika and lawyer Andrew Borg Cardona have reported Judge Giovanni Grixti to the Commission for the Administration of Justice, claiming that he dismissed 'facts' as 'journalistic opinions and blogs'

Mr Justice Giovanni Grixti
Mr Justice Giovanni Grixti

 

The Commission for the Administration of Justice has been asked to investigate the behaviour of Mr Justice Giovanni Grixti after a decree he authored allegedly leads to "the loss of respect to the judicial process."

The nine-page letter, penned by lawyer Andrew Borg Cardona in his name and on behalf of NGO Repubblika, harshly criticised Grixti’s revoking of an inquiry into the Vitals hospital concessions deal, claiming that the ruling brought the entire judicial process into disrepute because it breached all constitutional and ethical obligations. 

The inquiry had first been requested by Repubblika in order to establish whether Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, Economy Minister Chris Cardona and Technoline managing director Ivan Vassallo had given the group of investors behind VGH an unfair advantage in the contract’s selection process.

Grixti overruled Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit’s go-ahead on the inquiry, stating that the ‘facts’ brought to court by the NGO were simply a collection of journalistic opinions and blogs which Repubblika chose to cobble together.

Repubblika has since then filed a fresh request for a judicial investigation into the possible criminal activity behind the hospitals’ deal.

Borg Cardona’s letter, filed on Monday, defended these ‘cobbled media stories’ and referred to journalism as "the fourth estate of a state under rule of law, the means by which citizens can keep their eyes on the establishment and attempt to hold responsible their conduct."

The letter goes on to list a number of ‘facts’ about the hospital concessions deal, which Borg Cardona claims are immutable.

These include: Vitals frontman Ram Tumuluri’s reported PowerPoint presentation he was presenting to local banks previous to the publication of a Request for Proposals which would have initiated the bidding process.

Another ‘fact’ says that two months before the RFP was released, VGH had already started an advertising campaign which included facts about the yet-to-be-published RFP.

'Judge occupies a parallel universe'

“Judge [Giovanni Grixti] seems shocked by the fact that Repubblika has come to know of how the suspected ministers could quote the full Egrant report. He doesn’t comment, however, on how the ministers might have had access to this same report,” the letter reads, adding that Repubblika had not submitted conspiracy theories when asking for an inquiry.

Grixti’s decree seems out of touch with reality, the complainants wrote, as if the judge “occupies a parallel universe” where criminals willingly go to police to incriminate themselves.

The complaint will be heard by the Committee for Judges and Magistrates, comprised of three members of the judiciary. The judge will be allowed time to reply, after which the committee will decide on any disciplinary measures if any.

Read the letter here:

 

 

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