Three of the men resisting an inquiry into their involvement in the Panama Papers have agreed with an appeal by the Attorney General against the recusal of Mr Justice Antonio Mizzi.
A constitutional court in July ruled that Mr Justice Mizzi should recuse himself from the Panama Papers case, given that he is married to Labour MEP Marlene Mizzi.
In court filings, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, his business frontman Malcolm Scerri and former Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman all expressed their agreement with the Attorney General's appeal against the recusal.
The three men, together with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna and Karl Cini, last year appealed a court decision ordering an inquiry into their involvement in the Panama Papers scandal.
This request for an inquiry was filed last year by former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil, who is being represented by PN MP Jason Azzopardi.
Magistrate Ian Farrugia in July 2017 gave the go-ahead for the inquiry to begin, but appeals filed by the seven men have stalled it.
The appeal started to be heard by Mr Justice Mizzi, who refused a request by Dr Busuttil to recuse himself from the case, given that his wife had made several public proclamations about the Panama Papers.
Dr Busuttil went on to file a constitutional case, claiming that his right to a fair trial was being breached.
The constitutional court, on July 12, upheld Dr Busuttil’s request that the appeal not be heard by Mr Justice Mizzi.
Attorney General Peter Grech appealed this decision on July 26.
In the appeal, Dr Grech argued that the inquiry was meant to preserve evidence, not to pass judgement, therefore none of Dr Busuttil’s rights would be impinged.
He also argued that while the judge’s wife was a Labour MEP, Dr Mizzi had his own ideas, principles and opinions.
Dr Busuttil had slammed the appeal by the Attorney General as a dangerous attempt to pervert justice.
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