[WATCH] Egrant inquiry release will have to wait for Adrian Delia’s court case, Prime Minister says

Joseph Muscat cites rule of law and says he will wait for outcome of court case initiated by Opposition leader Adrian Delia before publishing full Egrant inquiry

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Joseph Muscat reiterates commitment to publish Egrant inquiry

Joseph Muscat will wait for the outcome of the Egrant court case initiated by the Opposition leader before forging ahead with his commitment to publish the full inquiry.

The Prime Minister said on Thursday that he wanted to hear what the court had to say before taking a decision on its publication.

When the Egrant inquiry conclusions were made public, Muscat had promised to publish the full investigation. The Attorney General is opposed to the full publication and the Prime Minister has insisted that all legal advice to date has been against the full release of the report.

“Everybody has been cautioning me not to publish the full report because it could create a dangerous legal precedent… my commitment to publish remains and I am consulting legal experts but given that the Opposition leader has initiated legal proceedings on the matter, the rule of law dictates that I do not forge ahead without first hearing what is being argued in court and the direction the court will give,” Muscat said.

Adrian Delia had asked the Attorney General to provide him with a copy of the full report in the best interests of democracy but the request was turned down.

The Opposition leader subsequently took the matter to court. The case is ongoing.

READ ALSO: Opposition leader’s role on Egrant inquiry ‘stultified’ by Attorney General

The Egrant inquiry was concluded by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja in July. Read the magistrate's conclusions here.

The Prime Minister had asked for the inquiry in April last year, following allegations made on slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog that the Panama company Egrant was owned by his wife, Michelle.

Caruana Galizia based her reportage on claims made by a former Pilatus Bank employee, Maria Efimova, who alleged that during her short stint at the bank had seen declarations of trust showing Egrant belonged to Michelle Muscat.

The inquiry found no evidence to substantiate the claims and the only documents passed on to the magistrate by Pierre Portelli, who was then director of content at The Malta Independent and now Delia’s right-hand man at the PN, were false and contained forged signatures. 

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