German federal police will pass on Panama Papers data to Malta, PN demands inquiry

The Nationalist Party has called for an independent inquiry led by three retired judges into the Panama Papers data, and not a police investigation

The Nationalist Party has called on the Maltese government to appoint an independent inquiry to handle a cache of Panama Papers data forwarded by the German federal crime police (BKA).

The newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which first received the data trove that was leaked from the Mossack Fonseca servers, said the data concerning Malta had been passed on by the BKA.

The data has yet to be passed on to the Attorney General, who will pass on the data to the inquiring magistrates handling the Panama cases, MaltaToday is informed.

The PN said the data should be now sealed and investigated through an independent inquiry.

“As we stated many times before, the PN has no trust in the Commissioner of Police and so insists that an inquiry is led by people who have everybody’s trust, three retired judges, whose appointment is carried out in agreement with the Opposition under the Inquiries Act,” the PN said in a statement.

“If the government does not accept this request immediately, tonight, it would it does not want a serious investigation or that the truth emerges on the scandal engulfing the PM’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and minister Konrad Mizzi.”

Both Schembri and Mizzi were revealed to have opened two offshore companies in Panama through the offices of Mossack Fonseca soon after the 2013 election, while auditors Nexia BT made inquiries for an international bank account. The two men were retained in their government posts.

The BKA paid over €5 million for the information in a bid to investigate possible tax evasion by German citizens.

The data was initially leaked to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung in 2016 and includes emails, financial spreadsheets, passports, and corporate records relating to the ownership of bank accounts and companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions. It covers a nearly 40-year period, through to the end of 2015.

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