[WATCH] Magistrate's ruling on Panama inquiry 'proof rule of law exists', Muscat says

Prime Minister welcomes ruling that widens 17 Black inquiry to include Panama Papers

Magistrate's ruling on Panama inquiry 'proof rule of law exists', Muscat says

Joseph Muscat appeared unfazed by a court ruling yesterday that widened an existing inquiry into 17 Black to include the Panama Papers.

The Prime Minister said he welcomed the ruling and said it was proof that the rule of law existed.

Confronted by the fact that a previous call for an inquiry into Panama Papers was appealed by himself and others, including Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, Muscat said it was unfair to question only one side when appeals were made.

Magistrate Doreen Clarke on Monday ruled that a request for an inquiry into money laundering allegations made by former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil should be conducted within the confines of another inquiry started last year.

Busuttil asked the court to initiate an inquiry into Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri over revelations that emerged from the Panama Papers in 2016. A previous request had been resisted by Mizzi and Schembri and the court of appeal last January threw out the case.

However, last March Busuttil and NGO Repubblika made a fresh attempt to seek an inquiry.

Clarke ruled that the allegations should be probed as part of an inquiry underway since last September by Magistrate Charmaine Galea into Dubai company 17 Black.

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