The NGO Repubblika has told the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations that it is turning down his invitation for a meeting, and will only meet him in court unless he withdraws allegations made against it two weeks ago.

Commissioner Anthony Abela Medici said in a statement on Monday that his censure of Repubblika - for allegedly breaching provisions of the law on voluntary organisations - was not politically motivated and that he had acted autonomously and independently without any political interference.  

In a reaction on Tuesday, Repubblika said the commissioner's letter had wrongly charged it with overspending and financial impropriety and with including in its committee, people who had publicly expressed opinions he had found incompatible with the status as a voluntary organisation. This, he had said, rendered Repubblika a political party or an organisation that was controlled by or acts in the interests of, a political party.

Those comments were dropped in the commissioner's statement on Monday, Repubblika observed.

The group insisted it is compliant with the law.

"We remind you that in your ‘case’ against us you produced as evidence of our “political” activity the fact that we dared to make written submissions to the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry. In this light and in the light of your apparent eagerness to prevent us and our Board members and other persons connected with us from having and expressing our opinions, please be advised that we will only debate anything with you in a court unless you withdraw your unfounded conclusions without reservation," Repubblika told the commissioner. 

The group insisted it acted independently of any intervention from the prime
minister or the government.

"We do not understand quite why we’re expected to believe you when you refuse to allow for the possibility that we are also capable of acting without
instructions from external political masters. Taken at face value, your statement tells us that you are solely and exclusively responsible for this outrage and we will hold you such if you do not withdraw your false accusations against us," the group said. 

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