A damning report concludes that criminal investigations should start against Minister Konrad Mizzi on alleged money laundering and the possible existence of money derived from crime, MEP David Casa said on Saturday.
The Nationalist MEP said he was now in possession of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit report which was completed last March but kept under wraps.
Although eight months have passed since then, this report remains at the FIAU "under lock and key", Mr Casa said.
"This is cast-iron evidence of the collapse of the rule of law and the political capture of yet another institution, if ever any more evidence was still necessary.
In a statement, the Nationalist Party thanked Mr Casa for his courage and said Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, who is politically responsible for the FIAU, should reveal what he knew about the report.
"Joseph has nowhere to hide," the party said.
The report is complete. I know because I have it. The FIAU had all the time to show it does not bow to political pressure. It failed. pic.twitter.com/Anw7PKcmzx— David Casa (@DavidCasaMEP) December 2, 2017
Mr Casa's claims were denied by both Dr Mizzi and the FIAU itself, with both saying that the MEP was making claims which had already been denied back in May (see reactions below).
The Labour Party said Mr Casa's claims were already subject to a magisterial inquiry.
"We all remember Simon Busuttil carrying box files to court," the PL said.
The MEP's statement comes a day after a European Parliament delegation, which he formed part of, visited Malta to probe rule of law in the wake of Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder.
"The fact that the FIAU is led by the Attorney General Peter Grech and by the Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta, who is married to Minister Justyne Caruana, shows just how much Malta’s institutions have become pawns in the hands of the government. They have become spineless, powerless and useless," Mr Casa said, through a statement from the European People's Party.
To add insult to injury, during the meeting with a delegation of MEPs, FIAU representatives lied about the status of this report by calling it merely a "working document" when they know very well that the report has been concluded for several months, he said. Again, this shows how the FIAU has now been completely "hijacked" by the government.
The FIAU has now been completely hijacked by the government
Apart from reaching damning conclusions in relation to Konrad Mizzi, the report also reaches other damning conclusions in relation to other people, companies, financial intermediaries and a bank, who have known to be involved in the "shady dealings" of Joseph Muscat’s inner circle.
In the wake of the seriousness of the revelations as well as the attempt to conceal the findings for so long, Mr Casa called on the FIAU and in particularly, its chairman, Peter Grech, who is also the Attorney General, on Minister Edward Scicluna who is politically responsible for FIAU and on the Prime Minister to immediately publish this FIAU report, start the necessary criminal action against Konrad Mizzi and to immediately assume the political responsibility for their failure to take action earlier.
"I am making it clear that should no action be taken, I will be left with no other alternative but to take the matter into my own hands to ensure that the wheels of justice are set into motion.
"The fact that Joseph Muscat has vehemently defended, retained and promoted Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi for the past 18 months, shows just how much he is in cahoots with them.
"This is a terrible mess that Joseph Muscat created intentionally and for which he is uniquely responsible. And it shows just how much he is not fit to govern this country."
'Recycled false allegations' - Mizzi
In a statement issued on Saturday afternoon and which made no direct mention of the report Mr Casa claimed to possess, Dr Mizzi said the MEP was making "recycled false allegations" that had first been made in May 2017.
The minister said that no bank accounts had ever been opened, transactions made or money received by his trust and Panama company.
"The FIAU had issued a statement contradicting the reports made," he said.
'There is no final report' - FIAU
Dr Mizzi's statement was followed by a similar one issued by the FIAU, in which it slammed Mr Casa's claims as "irresponsible", "unjust" and "incorrect."
Citing a press release it had issued back in May, the FIAU reiterated that "there is no final report" concerning the claims Mr Casa had made.
"FIAU reports are only finalised after comprehensive work," the unit said. "This process is time-consuming, especially when it involves international cooperation."
The FIAU said that it was precluded by law from disclosing confidential documents and information it possessed and said Mr Casa was out to damage the unit's credibility.
Mr Casa took to Twitter to dismiss the FIAU's claims.
"The report is complete," he said. "I know because I have it."