Joseph Muscat wants Maria Efimova to testify in libel cases

Efimova is wanted in a separate perjury case against her and former FIAU manager Jonathan Ferris


Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated in court that he wants Maria Efimova, a former Pilatus Bank employee, to testify physically in Malta over several libel cases opened by him.

Muscat testified in court earlier today in relation to libel cases filed against Matthew Caruana Galizia, and against Mario Frendo and Karl Gouder.

During his testimony Muscat said that the Egrant accusations, originating from Efimova, were an attempt at character assassination, causing "irreparable" damage to his family. 

"The Egrant lie was an invention from start to finish based on fake documents with fake signatures. The conclusion of the Magisterial Inquiry, in which hundreds of people and international calligraphy experts testified, left no room for doubt and called on the police to take criminal action against two people," Muscat wrote on his Facebook page.

Dal-għodu Dr Joseph Muscat xehed fil-Qorti f’kawżi ta’ libelli li fetaħ kontra Matthew Caruana Galizia dwar post fuq...

Posted by Joseph Muscat on Monday, February 1, 2021

It had been Efimova who claimed that the Panamian company Egrant belonged to Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle.

Muscat had filed a separate defamation case against Matthew Caruana Galizia over a series of Facebook posts that suggested Muscat took kickbacks on the sale of Maltese passports.

The ex-PM said that accusations made by Matthew Caruana Galizia on Facebook were completely false. Muscat denied owning any companies in Malta or abroad, nor any assets or accounts abroad. 

Muscat said that a separate magisterial inquiry had been opened into a number of allegations similar to that made by Caruana Galizia, but the allegations had been about another person. 

The conclusions of that inquiry have not been published, but Muscat said that it was "clear" that he was in no way implicated in these allegations, as the inquiring magistrate never sent for him.

Regarding the libel case against Mario Frendo, Muscat argued that Net TV claimed as fact that evidence was published regarding Egrant, when in reality no evidence had been published. “Even in the heading of the article it was said that new evidence was found, when in reality nothing new was found because nothing could have been found.”

The libel case against Karl Gouder is about a report that had alleged that the Muscat family had a secret company through which they received large sums of money from the daughter of the President of Azerbaijan.

“This report was based on completely false inventions, as evidenced by the magisterial inquiry into Egrant.”

Representing the Nationalist Party media, lawyer Joseph Zammit Maempel requested that Maria Efimova be present at the next hearing and give testimony through video conferencing. However, lawyer Pawli Lia insisted on behalf of Muscat that Efimova should testify in person, especially given that she is also subject to a perjury case.

“This isn’t a case where the witness cannot testify in court, but rather she does not want to testify.”