PN says Russian whistleblower claims on family harassment ‘alarming’

The Nationalist Party has called reports that whistleblower's Maria Efimova's family is being threatened “appalling”

Magistrate Aaron Farrugia
Magistrate Aaron Farrugia

The Nationalist Party has taken aboard claims by the Russian whistleblower Maria Efimova that her elderly father was intimidated by Russian private detectives “hired by individuals from Malta”.

The PN called for the immediate withdrawal of threats made to Efimova, a former employee of Pilatus Bank who alleged that the secret Panama company Egrant was owned by the Prime Minister’s wife.

Efimova told the Times that she informed the court her elderly father was intimidated by Russian private detectives on 15 June, asking for the magistrate to be informed about the purported intimidation attempts on her family. She said her father was approached by two people from a private detective agency at his home in Russia. She said they sought to verify whether her mother had actually passed away. The private detectives, the e-mail said, told the woman’s father they had been hired by “individuals from Malta”.

Calling these accusations “alarming”, the PN insisted that the government should offer full protection to the whistleblower, who has since left the island despite having to face fraud accusations in a Maltese court after a police report filed by Pilatus Bank.

“It’s no wonder then, that she felt the need to leave Malta after the election,” says PN.

The party alleged that the private detectives, who Emifova’s father said were hired from Maltese individuals, were sent by the Government to threaten those who reveal information about Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

This is another threat in a series of events aimed at destroying the credibility of Emifova, claimed PN. "Witness protection laws are evidently useless in the face of Government threats," the PN said.

Efimova fled the country in August 2017, after it was revealed that she was the source of blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia’s claims that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and wife Michelle transferred €1 million to company Egrant.

"Malta is anxiously awaiting the results of the serious investigation that is being conducted by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja," the PN said.

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