Ministers Konrad Mizzi, Edward Scicluna and Chris Cardona once again subjected to criminal inquiry

Edward Scicluna, Chris Cardona and Konrad Mizzi are once again under criminal investigation after a court ordered that fresh claims be included in the inquiry into the Vitals Global Healthcare deal being held by Magistrate Gabriella Vella

Edward Scicluna, Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona
Edward Scicluna, Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona

Three government ministers are once again the subject of a criminal inquiry after a court ordered that fresh claims be included in the inquiry into the Vitals Global Healthcare deal being held by Magistrate Gabriella Vella.

In a 28-page decree issued this afternoon, Magistrate Doreen Clarke said the prerequisites for such an inquiry had been satisfied and the request was justified.    

The inquiry is the second one requested by rule of law NGO Repubblika in order to establish whether ministers Edward Scicluna, Chris Cardona and Konrad Mizzi as well as Technoline managing director Ivan Vassallo had given the group of investors behind VGH an unfair advantage in the contract’s selection process.

In July Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit had ordered an inquiry into the three ministers together with Vassallo, only for it to be overturned on appeal by Mr. Justice Giovanni Grixti in October. In the interim period, Magistrate Gabriella Vella had also started her inquiry into Ivan Vassallo who had not appealed the first order.

Through lawyer Jason Azzopardi, Repubblika had immediately filed a fresh request for an inquiry into the three Ministers together with a complaint to the Commission for the Administration of Justice about the conduct of Mr Justice Grixti.

Magistrate Clarke ruled that the ministers’ arguments that Repubblika had not proven that there had been bribery or corruption were unfounded at law. Citing a raft of case law and legal texts, the magistrate ruled that the law gave private citizens the right to request an inquiry, but not to collect evidence, which was the point of an inquiry.

The ministers are expected to appeal.

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