European Parliament to ask Police Commissioner to investigate Panama Papers revelations and FIAU PEP reports

All EP groups bar the S&D call on Malta to publish names of IIP citizens, investigate Pilatus Bank licence granting

EP to request police investigation into Panama Papers revelations
EP to request police investigation into Panama Papers revelations

The European Parliament will be calling on Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar to open an investigation on the revelations in the Panama Papers and on the Politically Exposed Persons in the leaked Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit reports.

In a move prompted by the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the EP’s political groups, bar the Socialists and Democrats, have brought forward a motion for a resolution on the rule of law in Malta which condemns the fact that several serious allegations of corruption and breach of anti-money laundering and banking supervision obligations have not been investigated by the police.

The EP is calling on the European Commission to start discussions with the Maltese government on the functioning of the rule of law in Malta and to ensure that European values are upheld.

READ FULL RESOLUTION HERE

Noting the EP’s concern on citizenship by investment schemes, it is asking Malta to clearly identify those persons who have obtained a Maltese passport through the Individual Investor Programme.

It noted with regret that developments in recent years in Malta have caused serious concern about the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including media freedom and the independence of the police and judiciary.

The EP is calling on the Maltese supervisory and judiciary authorities to investigate the process by which Pilatus Bank was granted a licence, and to investigate Nexia BT’s compliance with the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD).

It remarked that media outlets in Malta had reported coming under severe pressure from the bank to retract or remove stories concerning corruption and money-laundering allegations against it, and noted that a whistleblower at the centre of the allegations involving PEPs had fled the country.

The EP also called for a ‘European Daphne Caruana Galizia’ yearly prize for investigative journalism to be established, together with a demand that the Maltese authorities ensure the protection of journalists’ and whistleblowers’ personal safety and livelihoods.

Acknowledging that Malta had invited the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation and Dutch forensic specialists to assist in the magisterial inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, it also called for an independent international investigation, and for the involvement of Europol throughout the investigations.

The EP asked the Commission to verify whether Malta is compliant with the 3rd AMLD and the Capital Requirement Directive, noting that the number of convictions related to money laundering in Malta seemed ‘extremely low’ in comparison to the number of reports the FIAU had sent to the police.

The Socialists and Democrats group brought forward their own motion on the rule of law in Malta, which, while noting that there was genuine concern about the Caruana Galizia, and that her murder was a threat to freedom of expression, emphasised that Malta’s institutions were trusted by the majority.

 

More in Europe

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe