Prime Minister says Egrant inquiry could be published in matter of days

After the Attorney General’s refusal to pass on a copy of the Egrant inquiry to the Opposition, the Office of the Prime Minister reiterates that it intends to publish the full report

The inquiry's conclusions were published last Sunday with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat pledging to make the full report public
The inquiry's conclusions were published last Sunday with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat pledging to make the full report public

The Office of the Prime Minister has reiterated its intention to publish the full report of Magistrate Aaron Bugeja’s Egrant inquiry and that this could happen in a few days.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, the Prime Minister said that a process was currently underway in which the inquiry was being “thoroughly analysed” to ensure that its publication did not “intrude the privacy of third parties, hinder investigations and possible proceedings”.

“This process is being taken very seriously, also given the Attorney General’s position against publication,” the Prime Minister said.

Whilst appreciating the Attorney General’s position and the fact that the inquiry’s conclusions had already been published, the Prime Minister said he was still of the opinion that it was in the public interest that the whole inquiry be published.

“This is also in light of the fact that it has now been proved that there was an orchestrated effort by individuals to use forged documents in order to attempt a frame up against the Prime Minister and his family, and, most importantly an attempt to destabilise the country’s institutions.”

“The review process is expected to take another few days and the publication will take place as early as possible.”

Delia threatens to sue

On Wednesday evening, The Attorney General informed Opposition leader Adrian Delia that he would not be giving him a copy of the full Egrant inquiry, which is yet to be passed on to the police for any action recommended by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja.

The AG said that only the conclusions were published as a matter of public interest and due to the impact on the country's public life.

But Delia has announced he will launch court proceedings over the AG's "inexplicable and biased decision to deprive the Opposition from having the full report of Bugeja's inquiry."

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia officially requested a full copy of the Egrant inquiry report, saying the current situation left the Opposition at a disadvantage. “The Attorney General accepted a request by the Prime Minister for him to have a copy of the report as one of the subjects of the inquiry. This has brought about a situation where the Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party has a full copy of the inquiry.”

This, the party said, created a political imbalance that the government was taking advantage of and urged the Attorney General’s office not to be complicit “in this imbalance” by immediately forwarding a copy of the inquiry.

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In a reaction, the Labour Party said that the leader of the Opposition needs to understand that the allegations against the Prime Minister’s wife and the Prime Minister himself are not a question of political games.

It said that, if anything he must understand that the Prime Minister and his family, for the last year and a half, had suffered a blatant imbalance of their own, as a result of a lie and falsified documents. 

“The Prime Minister has said that he wants the inquiry to be published in full because there is nothing that will change the magistrate’s clear and unequivocal conclusions.”

“In the meantime, the person behind this lie is still representing the Maltese and Gozitan people in parliament as part of the Nationalist Party’s parliamentary group, because for him, the country and the courts’ verdict is not enough,” the PL said.