Former prime minister Joseph Muscat has been summoned to appear before the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry board on Friday. 

The board secretary said court bailiffs had handed the summons to Muscat’s father when they turned up at his residence. So far, the board has not heard any confirmation of attendance. 

Muscat will be the most high profile person to testify at the inquiry investigating whether the state could have prevented the murder of Caruana Galizia in 2017.

The former prime minister announced his resignation in December last year amid the fallout of the investigation into the murder. 

His former chief of staff Keith Schembri has been named as a person of interest in the murder probe, which has seen four people arrested and charged, including prominent businessman Yorgen Fenech. 

As the board met again on Wednesday, the chairman and secretary of the Permanent Commission against Corruption appeared but said that they were precluded at law from testifying. 

Secretary Saviour Attard, who has been secretary to the commission since May this year, told the board that as at end of 2019, the permanent commission had 10 pending cases.

The commission's chairman Judge Lawrence Quintano quoted the law that the members are precluded from testifying and any breach could have criminal repercussions. 

Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family lawyer, Therese Comodini Cachia, asked whether the commission’s reports were published in any way but the two representatives did not know. 

She said that according to law regulating the commission, every report is given to the Justice Minister. If corruption is found, the report must also be sent to the Attorney General. It does not say whether the reports or the annual report is public or secret documents.

She told the board that she was not after details of cases the commission investigated or names of any people it investigated but how the commission was operating and the conclusions of its investigations. 

The sitting was adjourned after the board asked for Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis to be summoned to reply on the work of the permanent commission and reports he received. 

Next week, the board will on Monday hear Individual Investor Programme chief executive Jonathan Cardona and Times of Malta editor-in-chief Herman Grech, on Wednesday Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar and Edward Zammit Lewis, and on Friday Auditor General Charles Deguara.

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