Repubblika wants magistrate Nadine Lia to be investigated for breaching the code of ethics that magistrates and judges are bound by.

The NGO said on Friday that it would be filing a formal complaint before the Commission for the Administration of Justice, which is tasked with investigating complaints against lawyers and members of the judiciary, to that effect.

It alleges that Lia misstated proceedings in a court sitting held on September 15, listing points that did not reflect what really went on.

Friday’s development is the latest in a series of clashes between the magistrate and the NGO, which wants Lia precluded from hearing a case it has filed due to her family ties to Pawlu Lia, a lawyer who represents former prime minister Joseph Muscat and the Labour Party, as well several other key figures in the Muscat administration.

Lia is presiding over a case that Repubblika filed against the police commissioner and attorney general for their failure to press charges against select Pilatus Bank officials. The NGO says that an inquiry into the bank had advised the top law enforcers to charge bank directors well over a year ago.

Earlier this month, Lia refused a recusal request filed by Repubblika, saying that her father-in-law, Pawlu Lia, has never represented any of the Pilatus Bank officials that the case concerns.

Repubblika has pushed back against that reasoning, arguing that her father-in-law is friends with Muscat, and that it would not be in the latter’s interest to have Pilatus officials face criminal charges.

Following the magistrate’s refusal to entertain their recusal request, the NGO took its case to the constitutional courts and said it would follow through in international fora if needed.

Now the NGO is planning to take the case before the Commission for the Administration of Justice following a decree made by Lia, on September 22, about what went on during a brief sitting held on September 15.

During that sitting, that was reported in the media, Lia announced that she had received an anonymous threat that her career and marriage would be destroyed if she did not remove herself from the Pilatus case.

One week later, on September 22, Lia issued a court ruling that detailed what had happened during the September 15 sitting. Among those points, Lia state that the parties had not turned up when she called the sitting at 9.35am and that she had never turned down a request to file a note in court proceedings.

Repubblika says neither of those things are true: the NGO said that its representatives were present at 9.35am, and that the organisation’s lawyer Jason Azzopardo had asked to file mintues in the court document but was stopped by Lia before she deferred the case to October 27. This was reported by various media outlets, it said.

Those inaccuracies, it said, were further evidence that it could never have a fair hearing under Lia.

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