MEP David Casa will testify in Athens in hearing on Efimova arrest warrants

Nationalist MEP David Casa will be witness brought by Efimova defence counsel in EAW hearing in Athens

Nationalist MEP David Casa
Nationalist MEP David Casa

Nationalist MEP David Casa will testify in Athens in a court hearing on the European Arrest Warrant issued against Maria Efimova.

Efimova is currently facing two sets of criminal proceedings in Malta. She has been accused by the bank of defrauding it of roughly €2,000 in one case, and by the police of having made false accusations against Superintendent Denis Theuma, inspector Lara Butters and Ferris, who interrogated her, in another.

She is the subject of two EAWs (European arrest warrant) issued by the Maltese courts after failing to appear for court sittings since she left the island. The Greek court will decide whether the Pilatus Bank whistleblower will be returned to Malta to answer to the charges.

Efimova had left Malta in June 2017, absconding the court procedures, but she turned herself in a day after US authorities arrested her former employer, Pilatus chairman Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, on charges of breaching sanctions against Iran.

Casa told the Malta Independent that he had been asked to go to Athens by Efimova’s defence lawyers.

Efimova claims her life is in danger if she returns to Malta, after the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. She was one of the sources who was said to have verified claims that a secret Panamanian company belonged to the wife of the Prime Minister, and that the bank had processed a $1 million transaction from Azerbaijan to Michelle Muscat.

On Sunday, the former police investigator Jonathan Ferris denied claims by Efimova that Pilatus Bank officials were present during the police’s interrogation of the whistleblower.

An interview with Efimova, published by the Greek newspaper Kathimerini last week stated that the former Pilatus Bank employee had filed a police report following her interrogation, in which she claimed she was mistreated by one of the officers who pushed her and took her mobile phone “while two Pilatus Bank executives attended the interrogation”.

“The policemen who interrogated me told me, ‘We are friends of the bank’, and they even pressured me to apologise to the bank executives they had brought to the police station,” she was quoted as saying.

Asked whether he denied claims by Efimova that Pilatus Bank officials were present during her interrogation, lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Andrew Borg Cardona, acting on Ferris’s behalf, said that “to the best of his knowledge, no bank officials were ever present during any interrogation”.

“He always carried out his duties within the parameters of the law,” the lawyers said of the police investigator who later worked for the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit before being sacked after June 2017. Ferris is claiming unfair dismissal and has also petitioned the Maltese government for whistleblower status, but his request has been denied.

Efimova’s claims were also denied by the police in a statement.

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