Updated | Muscat to be asked to testify in constitutional case on Egrant report

Adrian Delia's lawyer said he would be calling on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to testify about any communication or requests made to the Attorney General on the Egrant inquiry

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia filed a constitutional application last month seeking a full copy of the Egrant inuqiry report
Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia filed a constitutional application last month seeking a full copy of the Egrant inuqiry report

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will be asked to testify in court proceedings instituted by Nationalist Party Adrian Delia, for him to be granted a full copy of the Egrant inquiry report.

Lawyer Vincent Galea, appearing for Delia, will be asking Muscat to testify about communication that had taken place between himself and Attorney General (AG) Peter Grech, among others.

Last month, the courts upheld a request by the PN leader for the case to be heard with urgency.

Delia filed a constitutional application last month in which he argued that the Attorney General’s refusal to hand over a full copy of the report created an issue of constitutional significance, given that the matter at hand was of national importance.

On his part, the Attorney General had disputed the need for urgency, arguing that the novelty and complexity of the case militated against it being treated with urgency.

The inquiry’s conclusions were published in July, and while Muscat has said he believes the entire report should be published, while also noting that the Attorney General did not agree with this position.

During Monday’s sitting, Galea reiterated that as the leader of the party in government, Muscat was using the information in the inquiry report to his party’s advantage.

The Attorney General, reacting to Galea’s remarks about wanting information on correspondence between him and the Prime Minister, as well as whether the inquiry report had been passed on to someone else, insisted that “this type of exercise was unprecedented, useless and without a legal basis”.

The case will continue on Wednesday, when Delia is expected to testify.

'AG still trying to delay case'

In a statement published later in the day, the PN accused the AG of trying to delay proceedings in order to prevent it form having a copy of the report.

It said this was further evidence that the AG was favouring the government.

Labour Party reaction

In a reaction, the Labour Party said that the court had given Delia the option of presenting a list of witnesses within 24 hours, saying that despite this, he had requested 48 hours.

“Then he has the cheek to attack others and say they wanted to delay the case,” the Labour Party said.

“Adrian Delia is employing the same rhetoric used by his predecessor – politicizing every development and showing no respect for constitutionally protected institutions.”

The party stressed that the Egrant inquiry was requested by the Prime Minister, and that its conclusions had already been published.

“In fact it was Adrian Delia himself who, when he was still trying to suspend Simon Busuttil from the Nationalist Party, who said that there was nothing that could change the inquiry’s conclusions,” the PL said.  

The PL reiterated that the Prime Minister was determined to published the report in a way that would not impact an on going investigation.

“One would hope that Delia is not acting in this way because he wants to obstruct justice.”