Updated | Labour jumps to AG’s defense after PN makes new accusations

The Nationalist Party has accused the Attorney General of seeking out information on former Pilatus Bank employee as Labour reminds that ongoing court case is already public

It was a day of press conferences by the two parties where a total of five media calls were issued on Saturday
It was a day of press conferences by the two parties where a total of five media calls were issued on Saturday

The Labour Party has sprung to the defense of the Attorney General amid accusations by the Nationalist Party that calls were made on Saturday morning to seek out information on a former bank employee, described as the source of allegations surrounding the beneficial ownership of Egrant Inc.

A third press conference was called by PN exponents Beppe Fenech Adami and Jason Azzopardi on Saturday, in which they claimed to have information that the Office of the Attorney General and the Police Board carried out a number of phone calls to seek information “on the character of the whistleblower”.

It has been revealed that the source used to work at Pilatus Bank, but was fired in 2016. The woman faces at least two court cases, one over defrauding Pilatus Bank and another of having made false accusations against Superintendent Denis Theuma and inspectors Jonathan Ferris and Lara Butters. Ferris and Butters are investigating the alleged fraud committed by the woman.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, who on Friday confirmed that her source used to work at Pilatus Bank, insists that the woman did not commit fraud and that the woman had not been paid for work carried out. According to her post, the woman used to work as personal assistant to the bank’s CEO, whilst the bank insists that she was an intern.

Addressing a second press conference in a matter of hours, Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis and PL deputy leader Chris Cardona reiterated that the PN was going down a dangerous path in which it was attacking one institution after the other to keep its story alive.

“Unfortunately, from this morning to now, the systematic campaign, organised and coming from Castille, has become harsher in its efforts to discredit the whistleblower," Fenech Adami said in the PN’s third press conference.

Jason Azzopardi said that he could confirm that calls were made on Saturday, a day after the woman gave her testimony in court to the magistrate holding an inquiry into the Egrant saga.

According to Labour, the accusations levelled against the Attorney General only proved that “Simon Busuttil has zero credibility and will do anything for power”.

“He is attacking any imaginable corner to keep this fictional story alive but cheaters don’t prosper,” Cardona said.

Reiterating that the PL would not enter into the merits of the woman’s pending charges, Cardona said Busuttil was choosing to rely on allegations whilst attacking the institutions.

Zammit Lewis said that the PN had systematically attacked the country’s institutions, one after the other, starting with the Broadcasting Authority, the Electoral Commission, the Police Force, the army and now the Attorney General.

“Everyone knows that AG Peter Grech is a respectable man, appointed by a Nationalist administration. The pending charges against the woman are already public. For those who understand how the AG’s Office works, they know that the AG is always in contact with the Police. Is this how the PN wants to attack him?

“We fully trust the Attorney General and the Magistrate who is leading the inquiry.”