A Magistrates’ Court has upheld an application by Repubblika and ordered a magisterial inquiry against a senior partner in a law firm whose licence to sell Maltese passports was suspended in the wake of revelations by a French television station.
Following an earlier referral to the Chamber of Advocates in respect of lawyer Jean Philippe Chetcuti, from the Chetcuti Cauchi law firm, Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo has now upheld the request by the civil society group for an inquiry into alleged trading in influence in connection with the sale of Maltese passports.
Dr Chetcuti was filmed by TV station M6 saying he could make use of his political connections to serve clients seeking to acquire Maltese citizenship, especially those whose application had been refused for failing the due diligence test.
In the footage, he says he is personally acquainted with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Julia Farrugia Portelli and Justice Minister Owen Bonnici. All three denied making undue pressure in this regard.
The court decreed that in the light of the facts presented at this stage by Repubblika, the prerequisites for the in genere inquiry had been satisfied, thereby green lighting the inquiry.
Repubblika was assisted by lawyer Jason Azzopardi.