Maltese prime minister cleared of Panama papers charges

  |   World News

The Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat says a year-long inquiry into allegations of financial wrongdoing linked to the Panama Papers scandal had cleared him. Muscat called a snap election last year – which he won comfortably – after he and his entourage, including his wife Michelle, were accused of owning a company mentioned in the papers. “Today, justice has been served,” a visibly emotional Muscat told a press conference on Sunday.

He said a judicial investigation running to 1,500 pages showed former opposition leader “Simon Busuttil has thrived on a lie in a bid to win power.” Muscat said that “the only honourable thing for (Busuttil) to do is resign from all his positions, including as MP.” The year-long probe was conducted by judge Aaron Bugeja and its conclusions were published a day after the report was passed to the attorney general.

The inquiry also did not find any evidence that Muscat, his wife, his close aide Keith Schembri, tourism minister Konrad Mizzi, or former European commissioner John Dalli were involved in money laundering or suspicious financial transactions involving holders of bank accounts in Azerbaijan via Pilatus Bank.

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