Three ministers have asked a court to revoke an order to explain under oath how they obtained information which was not in the published conclusions of the Egrant report.

The application filed by the trio drew the ire of Opposition leader Adrian Delia, who insisted that they were adamant on hiding the truth.

Dr Delia told journalists on Friday that Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, Economy Minister Chris Cardona and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi had filed a request just days before they were expected to appear in court to give their explanations. 

The sitting was meant to take place on Monday. 

The Constitutional Court decided in July that the ministers were to testify under oath “for the best administration of justice.”

The matter dates back to last June when the three government ministers appeared to quote from unpublished sections of the magisterial report into the Panama company Egrant Inc.

Dr Delia had originally asked for a full copy of the 1,500-page report but this had been turned down by the First Hall, Civil Court in May and later appealed.

But after the filing of the appeal, the citations by the three ministers had come to light, prompting Dr Delia to ask the court to order the three ministers to testify and explain how they could quote from the unpublished part of the Egrant report.
Just days before they were due to appear in court, the minister filed a request for the revocation of the order. 

Dr Delia told a news conference outside court on Friday that the request was evidently a move for the ministers to continue suppressing he truth with the help of the Attorney General.  He said the ministers’ replies on where they quoted from could impinge on the constitutional case he had filed. 

In a reply, the Labour Party said Dr Delia knew the truth, but he had succumbed the pressure by people who had “invented lies”. It recalled how Dr Delia had side-lined his predecessor Simon Busuttil when the report was made public. But Dr Delia had now jumped on the Egrant bandwagon to try protecting his position as leader of the Nationalist Party, it added. 

“Two years have passed since he became leader of the party, but he is yet to start leading the party,” Labour charged.