Updated 6.06pm - The Nationalist Party has called on the government to explain the resignation of Manfred Galdes, director of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit.

It said his resignation was a matter of concern in view of the scandal surrounding the setting up of secret companies in Panama by Keith Schembri, the prime minister's chief of staff, and minister Konrad Mizzi.   

On April 5, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna had said that the FIAU, which is tasked with investigating money laundering and similar abuse, was investigating Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi, the PN recalled.

Mr Galdes' resignation, four months on, therefore raised several questions.

The PN asked if the FIAU had concluded its investigation into Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi, whether a report had been presented to the police, and what had happened since. 

Had the police commissioner acted on the FIAU report? Did Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi have a copy of the report? Would Dr Muscat publish it?

"The latest developments in the scandal of the Panama secret companies is very serious and Dr Muscat needs to reply to these questions immediately," the PN said. 


The Office of the Prime Minister in a reaction, described the PN statement as 'irresponsible' and insisted that the FIAU is an independent institution.

It said it was informed of the resignation after it happened and it appeared that Mr Galdes stepped down after he accepted a position in the private sector. 

He gave no reasons for his resignation such as the ones alleged by the PN and its allies, the government said.

Had that been the case, Mr Galdes would have said so to the FIAU Board of Governors.

The government insisted it did not interfere in any institution or investigation.

"The chairman of the FIAU is the Attorney General. If the Leader of the Opposition has any doubts about him, he should make them public immediately," the government said.

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