Magistrate Claire Zammit Stafrace has accepted Repubblika’s request for the opening of a criminal inquiry into the conduct of Ministers Edward Scicluna, Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona in the privatisation of three public hospitals.

The Magistrate refused the Ministers’ defence that Repubblika’s complaint was based on journalistic investigations and as such had no merit. The Magistrate in her decision said: “The valuable work of investigative journalists cannot be discredited. They have a crucial task to ensure that in a democracy like ours, there are people who are vigilant on matters the people of Malta should be informed about and therefore the information they collect professionally in their investigations should be given the importance it deserves”.

The Magistrate also rejected the Ministers’ contempt for Repubblika which they repeated again today in a government statement describing the NGO as “a bunch of politically motivated individuals”. The court said, “there is no doubt that the facts described in Repubblika’s application and the documents presented and attached to their application, gives credibility to their allegations which should be investigated and preserved”.

Repubblika said in a statement today that the work of journalists has made hidden facts publicly known. The work of civil society compensated for the lazy work of the competent authorities to ensure these facts are not forgotten but are rather investigated appropriately and action is taken according to law.

Repubblika said that Government Ministers should stop acting in contempt of justice. Malta is now the only European country boasting a Finance Minister undergoing a criminal inquiry. This apart from the other Ministers involved in this case and other inquiries that are pending on other Government Ministers and senior officials.

Repubblika confirms its commitment to do all it can to shake up Maltese institutions so they do their jobs and prevent people from breaking the law and getting away with it simply because they happen to be Government Ministers or enjoying the protection of Joseph Muscat.

Repubblika was represented in this case by Jason Azzopardi.