[WATCH] Muscat sets conditions on Mizzi appearing in front of Panama Papers MEPs’ committee

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says the government has not yet received an invitation for former energy minister Konrad Mizzi to appear in front of the European Parliament’s committee investigating the Panama Papers scandal

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat touring MCAST stands set up for fresher's week
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat touring MCAST stands set up for fresher's week
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on whether minister without portfolio Konrad Mizzi will appear in front of European Parliament committee

The government would consider any invitation by the European Parliament’s PANA committee for minister without portfolio Konrad Mizzi to appear before it, according to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

But any decision would also be based on what other countries were doing, the make-up of the committee and the

Muscat was addressing journalists on the MCAST campus in Paola on Wednesday after touring stands and exhibitions set up for fresher’s week.

He said that the EP’s PANA committee – set up to investigate the Panama Papers scandal – had not yet invited Mizzi to appear and that any decision would be taken in view of other countries’ opinion of the committee set up by the European Parliament.

“We are always in favour of engaging with those asking to hear your point of view, and there are different methods of how this could be done,” Muscat said.

“Once this happens, once we receive an invitation, we will reply adequately.”

Minister Konrad Mizzi (left) and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri
Minister Konrad Mizzi (left) and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri

Muscat said that he would not be deciding alone whether Mizzi should appear in front of the committee and that this was not a question affecting only one country.

“There is already a legal opinion on the remit of this committee, but I am not in favour of creating a controversy with any committee of the European Parliament,” he said.

“We do need to engage them, but we must also ensure that the decision Malta takes does not conflict with any decision taken collectively by the Council of Ministers.”

Muscat said that the auditors’ investigation into the Panama Papers affair was still ongoing and that there was no fixed timeframe as to when it would be concluded or when the final report would be published.

Together with the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, Mizzi was discovered to have opened a secret offshore company and an offshore trust in New Zealand through Mossack Fonseca’s agent in Malta, the audit firm Nexia BT.

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