Updated 3pm - Ferris leaves police HQ

Former FIAU investigator Jonathan Ferris arrived at police headquarters at noon on Wednesday to face questioning by the police about his testimony during the Egrant inquiry.

He was seen leaving shortly before 3pm, having been inside police headquarters for almost three hours. 

Sources said Mr Ferris, a former police inspector, likely faced questions in connection with alleged perjury.

When contacted by Times of Malta, Mr Ferris confirmed on Tuesday that he received a call yesterday ordering him to turn up for questioning at police headquarters in Floriana.

He said he asked the police inspector who had called him to postpone the questioning until after Friday, as his lawyer was abroad, but his request was denied and he was threatened with arrest if he did not show up.

Mr Ferris said he had nothing to fear or hide and would, therefore, attend for questioning as requested. “I will not be intimidated by these fascist tactics,” he said.

I will not be intimidated by these fascist tactics

The lobby group Occupy justice described the police summons as 'political persecution'.

It said that despite repeated pleas, the Malta Police did not act on FIAU reports that exposed Konrad Mizzi’s and Keith Schembri’s money laundering crimes. However, the police seemed to be very keen to chase after people, like former Inspector Jonathan Ferris, who had fought for the truth to come out in the name of justice.

"Occupy Justice condemns this political persecution vehemently. We no longer recognise our Malta. This is why we will keep on fighting for what is right, for justice and for a fair and equal society. Because, this is our nation, this is our home, and we are the people. We expect better, we deserve better, we demand better," the group said. 

Mr Ferris’ name is mentioned in the Egrant inquiry conclusions published by the Attorney General in relation to allegations of a US$1.017 million payment from an Azerbaijan company to Egrant Inc.

Magistrate Aaron Bugeja found no evidence of that transaction and said that Mr Ferris had concluded that “these were the payments he said he had found and which were made from Sahro FZCO’s account, and which according to him were paid directly to Michelle Buttigieg of Buttardi.”

A copy of the entire 1,500-page inquiry report was given solely to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The Malta Independent reported yesterday former Pilatus Bank employee Maria Efimova was expected to be charged with perjury. She claimed to have seen two declarations of trust linking Egrant to Dr Muscat’s wife.

According to the Egrant inquiry, which did not find any documents linking Egrant to Ms Muscat, the signatures on the trust declarations were forged.

Egrant was one of three Panama companies administered by government consultants Nexia BT. The other two were owned by Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri.

Neither is known to have been called in for police questioning since the 2016 Panama Papers leak first revealed their plans.

Correction 11.45am Amended to include mention of Mr Ferris in the Egrant inquiry conclusions

 

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