[WATCH] Repubblika files court application requesting Panama Papers inquiry

The civil society NGO this morning filed a court application calling for an inquiry into alleged crimes by OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi

Repubbilka officials Marion Pace Asciaq, Robert Aquilina, Sammi Davis, Simon Sansone and Manuel Delia filed the court application on Friday
Repubbilka officials Marion Pace Asciaq, Robert Aquilina, Sammi Davis, Simon Sansone and Manuel Delia filed the court application on Friday

The rule of law NGO Repubblika filed a court application requesting an inquiry into the revelations stemming from the Panama Papers leak three years ago.

“We have today, as Repubblika, filed a Court application requesting an inquiry into crimes we are alleging were committed by Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi and those who bribed them and those who helped them to be bribed,” the NGO said in a statement.

The NGO said that in its application it had listed a series of legal provisions it was alleging to have been breached by Schembri and Mizzi, “in order to hide or to try to hide proceeds from crime and corruption”

“All the information on which we base our allegation is in the public domain,” the NGO said. “It starts from Daphne Caruana Galizia’s revelations from three years ago and is further substantiated by evidence that has since become known: the Panama Papers revelations; the FIAU reports; and revelations as a result of journalistic investigations by The Daphne Project.”

The NGO insisted that there was “much more than prima facie evidence”, meaning that the Prime Minister must necessarily “stop giving political asylum to these persons and for them to face the consequences of justice”.

Repubblika’s application was filed on the same day that former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil filed an application of his own, claiming Malta’s institutions had “flagrantly and consistently” failed to act against the pair in breach of Maltese law and the Treaty of the European Union, among others.

READ MORE: Simon Busuttil files application for new investigation into Panama Papers allegations

Repubblika said that in filing such applications, Busuttil was “wearing the mantle that belongs to all of us: the role of a citizen that shares everybody’s interest that the law in Malta is applied equally to everyone”.

The organisation said it feels obliged to insist that the country’s institutions do their job.

“We are here because in this case, the police have failed, the Attorney General has failed, the FIAU has failed and in some decisions that have been made, the judiciary has also failed,” Repubblika said.  

“Every day that passes the Prime Minister also fails because when he harbours crooks, he makes himself one. Those who harbour crooks are just as crooked. This is a flagrant breach of our values and of European democratic values that uphold the rule of law.”

It said that while some might argue that the group has no legal standing, “anyone one pays an electricity bill in Malta is paying a supplier who was contracted by the government because the responsible officials who contracted them have been bribed”.

“Anyone paying an electricity bill in Malta is being robbed by these crooks and has every right to insist institutions take action to protect them,” Repubblika said, adding that one would have expected that, given the evidence at hand, a decision to open an inquiry would have already been taken by now.

Finally, Repubblika said that on the occasion of woman’s day, it wanted to salute Caruana Galizia, who was killed using a car bomb seventeen months ago “for fighting for the rule of law and against corruption and illegality”.

“Our duty is to ensure that her fight does not die with her,” the group said.

READ MORE: Mizzi withdraws Panama libel cases against Caruana Galizia and Nationalist MPs

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