Updated 7.30pm: Adds OPM's reaction
Opposition leader Adrian Delia has said he will be filing court proceedings after Attorney General Peter Grech refused to pass on a copy of the full Egrant inquiry.
In a tweet, Dr Delia slammed the Attorney General's decision as "inexplicable" and "biased" and said he would be taking the matter to court.
The Attorney General’s Office declined to pass on a copy of the full inquiry on Wednesday, saying that the inquiry’s primary conclusions, released last Sunday, had only been made public due to the “exceptional” nature of the inquiry and its impact on public life.
Dr Grech had informed Dr Delia that he saw no reason to alter that original decision at this stage, and referred to the statement his office had released when publishing the inquiry conclusions last Sunday.
Following AGs inexplicable and biased decision to deprive the opposition from having the full report of the Bugeja’s inquiry I shall be immediately filing court proceedings. #nationalinterest first.— Adrian Delia (@adriandeliapn) July 25, 2018
In that statement, the Attorney General had said that publishing the full report would violate the privacy of a number of third parties and could compromise other ongoing investigations related to the the Egrant inquiry findings.
In a statement later, the Prime Minister reiterated that he intended to publish the entire inquiry.
He said a process was underway whereby it was being thoroughly analysed to make sure that its publication did not intrude into the privacy of third parties, hinder investigations and possible proceedings.
"This process is being taken very seriously, also given the Attorney General’s position against publication."
The Office of the Prime Minister said that while he appreciated the AG's position, he was still of the opinion that it wasin the public interest that the whole inquiry was published.
"This is also in light of the fact that it has now been proved that there was an orchestrated effort by individuals to use forged documents in order to attempt a frame up against the Prime Minister and his family, and, most importantly an attempt to destabilise the country’s institutions.
"The review process is expected to take another few days and the publication will take place as early as possible."
The PN leader wrote to Dr Grech on Monday, asking for a full copy of the inquiry and noting that the Opposition was at a distinct disadvantage when responding to the report, since Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had a copy of the full report while the Opposition did not.
Dr Delia is currently caught in a power struggle within his own party, with his predecessor Simon Busuttil having refused Dr Delia's request to suspend himself from the party's parliamentary group.
Dr Busuttil has said he would only draw his final conclusions about the inquiry, which runs to 1,500 pages, once he has seen a full copy of it. He has also accused Dr Delia of rushing to judge him before having seen the inquiry in full and of "siding with Joseph Muscat".
In a statement, the Labour Party said that rather than taking judicial action against the AG, it would have been better for the leader of the Opposition to go against those within his party who had ridden on the frame up concocted against the Prime Minister and his family.
Dr Delia’s actions, it said, was intended to mitigate the trouble within his own party.
Occupy Justice reiterates call for AG's immediate resignation
The AG's office’s refusal to publish the inquiry in full reflected the lack of transparency and independence of Malta's institutions, Occupy Justice said in a statement.
"The Prime Minister declared that the document should be made public – the fact that the AG refuses to do so points to the situation being a set-up, stage-managed by the Castille gang," it said.
It added that the fact that the AG chose to give a copy solely to the Prime Minister was highly concerning.
"For justice to be seen to be done, the report should be made public for all citizens to be able to form an objective opinion."
Occupy Justice said that the fact that the leader of the Opposition rushed to conclusions before reading the report in full, indicated that Malta was fast becoming a one-party state - where the two political parties were morphing into one, leaving the country in the sorry state of not having an effective and functioning opposition.
"In view of the AG's decision to keep everyone else in the dark, #occupyjustice reiterates its call for his immediate resignation," it said.
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