Repubblika disappointed after court denies parte civile request in Muscat prosecution

Repubblika expresses disappointment over recent court decisions denying their request to be constituted as ‘‘parte civile’’

Repubblika expressed disappointment this morning after a court denied their request to be constituted as ‘‘parte civile’’ (injured party) in the criminal prosecution against Joseph Muscat and other figures related to the hospitals deal.

The prosecution is happening after a recent magisterial inquiry into the ordeal which was intially pushed by Repubblika, the rule of law NGO argued.

The Vitals Inquiry delved into a fraudulent agreement that granted three public hospitals to Vitals Global Healthcare in 2015. The 1,200-page inquiry, published by MaltaToday, established that millions in public funds entrusted to the company were transferred to other companies connected to it.

The NGO argued they should have been granted standing to intervene and represent the public interest, especially considering their push for the inquiry.

Repubblika emphasised that the law gave them the right to call for an inquiry after the police failed to carry out their duty.

"We will continue to make the argument before the courts that it is appropriate to allow us to intervene parte civile in these prosecutions because the victims of corruption deserve justice, and someone has to speak for them," they insisted in the press release.

‘‘But, although different courts have a different interpretation, the law as it stands is silent on whether an organisation like ours has the right to continue to represent victims of corruption when prosecution begins."

Drawing connections to a recent European Union (EU) case against Malta from the European Commission (EC), they mentioned how the EC is calling into question ‘the right of civil society organisations to intervene in cases related to the environment.’

The new directive clarifies the obligation of Member States to provide civil society organisations the right to intervene in the prosecution of these offenses.

At the end of the statement, the NGO committed to renewing their commitment to fight corruption and speak on behalf of its victims ‘‘by every means that the law gives us.’’