Repubblika makes fresh request for watchdog’s inquiry into judge who quashed Vitals inquiry

Repubblika wants Commission for the Administration of Justice take action against Judge Giovanni Grixti, after it accused him of authoring a decree that leads to “loss of respect to the judicial process”

Justice Giovanni Grixti
Justice Giovanni Grixti

Civil society NGO Repubblika has requested that the Commission for the Administration of Justice take action against Mr Justice Giovanni Grixti, after it accused him of authoring a decree that leads to “loss of respect to the judicial process”. 

Grixti had overturned an earlier decision by Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit to hold a magisterial inquiry into the deal between the government and the now-defunct Vitals Global Healthcare to run three State hospitals. 

The judiciary’s watchdog had then replied that a complaint against a judge could only be moved by the Chief Justice or the Justice Minister. 

Repubblika and Borg Cardona have now requested that their request be reconsidered in view of the National Audit Office report on Vitals. 

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 a 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. 

Repubblika 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.” 

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