Prime Minister Robert Abela on Wednesday hinted he was considering appointing a new Attorney General.  

Fielding questions from reporters, Abela said that since taking office he had not shied away from shake-ups in senior positions, including the chief justice and police chief.  

He said he did not exclude that “in the near or not so near future” there could be a new AG.  

“I believe that a person should only hold an office for a certain time and it is healthy to have change from time to time – even for the quality of the work to remain high and to keep looking ahead,” he said.  

Prime Minister Robert Abela. Video: Matthew Mirabelli.

A senior government source close to Abela told Times of Malta that while the appointment of a new chief legal advisor to the government was on the Auberge de Castille’s “radar”, there had not been any decision over how and when this would take place.  

[attach id=895785 size="large" align="left" type="image"]Attorney General Peter Grech has been on the receiving end of strong criticism. [/attach]

Peter Grech, 63, was appointed AG in 2010.  

He has been on the receiving end of stern criticism and calls for his resignation over a lack of prosecutions related to high-level government corruption cases.  

Most recently, he came under fire after Times of Malta on Tuesday revealed a 2016 memo in which Grech had warned that seizing evidence in connection with a possible Panama Papers investigation into Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi would be a “drastic” move.

The memo noted that seizing evidence would be “highly intrusive” and came with a high legal risk that could be “counterproductive”.

Nexia BT was the firm Schembri and Mizzi used to open secret offshore structures while in office.  

Grech’s memo was slammed by the family of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who said the attorney general should resign. 

One of Caruana Galizia’s sons, Matthew, dubbed the note a “murder memo” and argued that his mother would still be alive had Grech advised the police to “do their job”.  

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Grech pushed back against those accusations. 

“It is difficult to imagine any reasonable and responsible lawyer advising in favour of such an intrusive measure without a sound legal basis,” he said.

‘My advice would have had a direction’ 

Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning, Abela said that were he to criticise the AG’s advice on the matter, he would say that it lacked direction.  

“Speaking as a lawyer, the advice could have been more specific. But it is a matter of style. I, myself advise that the possible directions that can be taken are A, B, or C,” he said.  


Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.