[WATCH] Konrad Mizzi speaks of vindication and suffering after court ruling

The Tourism Minister lauds ‘detailed' court ruling that shows how former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil had no proof to back his allegations

Minister Konrad Mizzi
Minister Konrad Mizzi
Minister Konrad Mizzi speaks of vindication after court decree

Konrad Mizzi has welcomed a court ruling that threw out a request for a magisterial inquiry into the Panama Papers made by former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil.

In his first reaction to the Appeals Court decision this evening, Mizzi said the former PN leader did everything to damage the government with various allegations.

“He had every right to do so but he also had to prove them… this is an important decision, the 27-page decree is detailed and showed that none of the accusations made by Simon Busuttil were substantiated,” Mizzi said.

He was speaking on One TV’s Pjazza on Tuesday evening.

Mizzi said this was the fourth time that he felt vindicated by a court decision. Mizzi said the Egrant inquiry had found that he never held an account at Pilatus Bank and never received money from Azerbaijan.

“I also won a libel case over a newspaper article that alleged that I had not informed my advisors I was a politically exposed person and now this decree is the fourth time that I have been proven right by the court,” Mizzi said.

The minister has been at the centre of controversy since 2016, when it transpired that he had opened a company in Panama along with the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri. It later transpired that two Dubai companies - 17 Black and Macbridge - were listed as target clients for the Panama outfits of Mizzi and Schembri.

The pair have always denied wrongdoing but the inclusion of 17 Black as a target client remains unexplained, especially after it was revealed that the owner is Yorgen Fenech of the Tumas Group and an Electrogas investor.

Just after the 2017 election, Busuttil had gone to court asking for a magisterial inquiry into the affairs of Mizzi, Schembri, the Prime Minister and others as a result of the Panama Papers. The former Opposition leader alleged money laundering.

Mizzi said this evening that the criticism he received over the past years caused him and his family a lot of suffering.

“I spoke with the Prime Minister and Joseph told me to lower my head and keep working for him and the country… we suffered but out of a sense of loyalty to the people we continued working… people gave us a second mandate, they want continuity and are happy with Joseph Muscat’s leadership and the policies we have adopted,” Mizzi said.

He insisted the government had to continue moving forward but court decrees like the one issued today could not be forgotten.

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