The Constitutional Court today found that Antonio Mizzi’s refusal to recuse himself from hearing Joseph Muscat’s appeal from a court order to have him and the Panama Gang investigated by the police is a breach of Simon Busuttil’s fundamental rights. Simon Busuttil comes into this because he filed the complaint to the court that the police had done nothing about the Panama Papers for a year. He did so when he was Leader of the Opposition but he was not exercising that role in this case. He was exercising the right of every citizen to complain to the court when the police fail to act on a crime that is punishable by prison.

The first court agreed with Simon Busuttil and ordered the police to investigate Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, Adrian Hillman, Malcolm Scerri, Brian Tonna and Karl Cini in view of the Panama Papers revelations.

The Panama Gang appealed from that decision but waited for the judge’s rota so that their appeal is heard by whom they must perceive is a ‘friendly’ judge. Antonio Mizzi is married to Marlene Mizzi, a Labour Party MEP.

Simon Busuttil argued Antonio Mizzi should not be hearing the appeal. However fair he may intend to be, his very close association to the persons filing the appeal cannot give anyone the reasonable impression justice was being served. Antonio Mizzi disagreed and decided he would hear the appeal regardless.

Simon Busuttil appealed that decision and the Constitutional Court today found he was right.

It ordered Antonio Mizzi’s decision cancelled and for the case to pass to another judge.