Appeals court to rule next month on Adrian Delia’s request for Egrant inquiry to be published

During final submissions made in court, the Attorney General says the Egrant report was not passed on to the Labour Party but to the Prime Minister

The Egrant inquiry is 1,500 pages long but only its conclusions have been published
The Egrant inquiry is 1,500 pages long but only its conclusions have been published

The Egrant inquiry report was not passed on to the Labour Party but to the Prime Minister, according to Attorney General Peter Grech.

He was making submissions in the appeal case filed by the Opposition leader, who wants the court to order the publication of the full 1,500-page report.

Chief Justice Joseph Azzopardi, Mr Justice Giannino Caruana Demajo and Mr Justice Anthony Ellul presided the sitting.

Lawyers for both sides made submissions this morning and judgment will be delivered on 16 December.

The conclusions of the Egrant inquiry were published last year but the AG has so far refused to publish the full report. However, a copy was given to the Prime Minister.

It was Joseph Muscat who had asked for the magisterial inquiry in 2017 after allegations published on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog linked his wife Michelle Muscat to Panama company Egrant.

In court today, the AG argued that because of the delicate constitutional nature of the inquiry there was a decision to give a copy to the Prime Minister. 

This doesn’t mean there is an obligation to place the whole thing online, said the AG.

“It wasn’t the case that the document was passed on to the Labour Party. The document was passed on to the Prime Minister… parties are not involved in this. The discussion should not be brought down to that level,” Grech said.

Vince Galea, appearing on behalf of Delia said that on Friday, the government, acting on the advice of the AG, issued a statement with the terms of reference of another public inquiry, agreeing with the redaction of certain parts of it.

“But in this case he does not,” Galea argued.

He said that on one hand the AG was saying that the publication question was one of public interest, but then he doesn’t want to give a copy to the public and the Leader of the Opposition.

“If the AG passes on the inquiry to the leader of the Nationalist party he will use it politically but if passed on to Labour Party officials it is ok,” Galea remarked, adding the inquiry must be published for everyone.

The Leader of the Opposition could not fulfil his role as watchdog of our democracy without access to the document, said Galea.

The court announced that it would be passing judgment on the matter on 16 December.

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