Bonnici says Konrad Mizzi was ‘politically naïve’

Defending Konrad Mizzi's decision to register company in Panama controversy, justice minister Owen Bonnici says his Cabinet colleague had no bad intentions but was politically naïve

Justice minister Owen Bonnici
Justice minister Owen Bonnici

While saying that energy minister Konrad Mizzi had no bad intentions in opening a company in a tax haven, justice minister Owen Bonnici  described his Cabinet colleague's actions as “politically naïve”.

Defending Mizzi’s intentions, Bonnici insisted that Mizzi had also declared all his assets in his declaration of assets, a declaration which was not published.

Asked by journalists whether he had seen the declaration himself, Bonnici admitted he had not “because it wasn’t in his remit”, but that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and a number of Cabinet Office Officials responsible for the procedure had.

Bonnici insisted that Mizzi had done nothing illegal and that the financial advice he was given had been “politically naïve” at best.

“The leaks only confirm that Mizzi has been telling the truth all along,” Bonnici said, referring to the revelations made in the Panama Papers that were published on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The leak, one of the biggest ever with 11.5 million files leaked from the database of Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, revealed the way that many of the world’s most powerful leaders and figures make use of secretive offshore tax regimes.