Ministers evasive on Egrant report quote have right to silence – Magistrate

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Three Ministers from the Labour Party Administration have been referred to as being ‘extremely evasive’ when questioned over an unseen quote within the as yet unpublished Egrant report.The quote used by the Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and Minister for Small Businesses Chris Cardona, had been used in response to activists calls for the creation of an inquiry into how Vitals Global Health were awarded their contract for three of Malta’s public hospitals.Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit had ruled on the request of rule of law NGO Repubblika to identify where the ministers had drawn the quote from report from, although found them not inclined to give a straight answer. At the same time, having access to this information from unseen parts of the report carried its own concerns.Read more:Egrant: “Cardona, Mizzi and Scicluna have access”Watch: “Delia has a right to appeal” – MuscatUpdated: PN leader to appeal Egrant court decision; fulfill duty as ‘public watchdogWatch: “Publish the report and we’ll see what you’re hiding” – DeliaUltimately, the court decided that Mizzi, Cardona and Scicluna had a right to silence nor could it compel them to divulge the origin of the information.Rule on enough evidence for inquiryStafrace Zammit explained that although she had received the request by Repubblika to open an inquiry, she was only mandated to determine if there was enough evidence to carry out an inquiry surrounding VGH.With no idea of where the suspect quote had come from, the court would discount its value when deciding on an VGH inquiry.Mizzi, Cardona and Scicluna must be made to exhibit copies of Egrant report – RepubblikaEgrant still to emergeDespite the Prime Minister’s pledge during the election period to release Egrant, ‘within days,’ nothing has yet materialized.Dr Muscat instead said that investigations into Egrant were still continuing, hence full publication had been delayed.Quote not in 49 page versionAccording to the Attorney General Peter Grech, the 49 page version of the larger 1,500 page report did not include the quote referred to by the minsters.It is however understood that the quote from the Ministers referred to a demand for the Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar to carry out an investigation into forged signatures which linked Prime Minister Muscat’s wife, Michelle Muscat to Egrant.No evidence had been found linking the two, during an inquiry carried out by Mr Justice Aaron Bugeja.A number of allegations had been floated that Egrant was receiving substantial amounts of money from Pilatus Bank. The bank has also been transferring funds to companies allegedly owned by the Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, the PM’s Chief of Staff. These were proven to be false.WhatsApplast_img

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