Constitutional Case by Tourism Minister Mizzi begins

The Constitutional Case filed by Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi kicked off On December 20. The case was filed by Mizzi on December 7 after a request for magisterial inquiry against him by former Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil in relation to the Panama Papers case.

The motivation behind filing the case, according to the Minister, is that the intervention by the opposition leader has led to a breach of his fundamental rights. On the other hand, Dr. Busuttil and MEP David Casa have also requested an authorization to intervene in the ongoing suit.

On Wednesday, Justice Robert Mangion who is presiding over the case, had said that he will first take into consideration the request made by Dr. Busuttil and MEP David Casa. After that, the minister’s request for postponement of proceedings against him in Criminal Court until the conclusion of Constitutional Case will be considered.

While the proceedings began on Thursday, Mizzi was not present in the court. His lawyers informed the court that the minister was not in the country at the moment. The minister’s request for postponement of proceedings in Criminal Court came up for discussion on Thursday after other issues related to the case were discussed.

“The raison d’etre behind these constitutional proceedings was to stay the criminal proceedings before the other court. If no interim measure, provisional measure – call it what you may – is given, the whole purpose is lost,” Konrad Mizzi’s lawyer, Dr. John Bonello argued in the court as quoted by Times of Malta.

While making his arguments for the delay of proceedings, Dr. Bonello also mentioned that Dr. Busuttil had also previously requested a similar stay until he took up his grievances in front of the European Courts. However, when asked by the judge if he could cite any jurisprudence on the matter, the lawyer replied in negative.

After hearing the arguments made by Mizzi’s lawyers, the court declared that a decision will be made after the AG files his reply by Wednesday. Dr. Busuttil and Mr. Casa’s intervention issue will be dealt with during the next adjournment of the case in January.