Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi’s rights would be breached by a corruption inquiry requested by former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil and NGO Repubblika, his lawyer John Bonello told a Constitutional Court on Tuesday.

Dr Mizzi has demanded that no decision on whether an inquiry is needed should be taken until his human rights breach claim has been heard.

Lawyer and Nationalist Party MP Jason Azzopardi told the court that Dr Mizzi did not want to be investigated for corruption despite claiming he was innocent.

The Tourism Minister was not present for his human rights breach case.

Dr Azzopardi told the court the request inquiry would not impinge on the minister’s rights. The inquiry was being requested because his clients were arguing that Dr Mizzi is “corrupt and taking bribes”, Dr Azzopardi said.

The PN MP argued that Repubblika should be allowed to intervene in Dr Mizzi’s human rights breach case, as it was allowed to do in a similar case last December.

This request was upheld by the court.

Read: Simon Busuttil embarks on new Panama Papers battle

Dr Mizzi’s lawyers gave notice of appeal against the decision.

Mr Justice Joseph Zammit Mckeon told the minister’s lawyers that they had to decide whether their client’s Constitutional case was urgent, or whether they wanted to appeal the decision.

This is the second time Dr Mizzi has claimed a Panama Papers inquiry would breach his right to a fair hearing.

Repubblika has slammed the “outrageous” use of State institutions to run away from the law.

“Human rights laws exist to protect citizens from their government. Konrad Mizzi thinks they exist to protect the government from citizens”, Repubblika said last week.

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