The Maltese authorities have finally submitted a complete request for information to the United Arab Emirates on 17 Black, PN MEP David Casa said.
17 Black, which was incorporated in the UAE, belongs to Yorgen Fenech, the suspected mastermind in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
The link between 17 Black and the Panamanian companies belonging to Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri were revealed by investigative journalists in April 2018.
However, it was only very recently that the Maltese authorities submitted a complete request for information to the United Arab Emirates. This complete request will allow UAE authorities to transfer information through official channels. This is vital in order to prosecute those involved in the high-level corruption and money laundering associated with 17 Black, Casa said.
“I am informed that, finally, the United Arab Emirates has received a complete request from the Maltese authorities on 24 August 2020. It is shameful that it has taken this long to get this right. The Maltese authorities should have ensured that the correct request for this information was submitted immediately following the revelations. Instead, incomplete requests were sent, and lack of progress was justified with the claim that Dubai was uncooperative,” the MEP said in a statement.
“We are one crucial step closer to ensuring that all those involved in the corruption over which Daphne was murdered, are brought to justice.”
Casa has worked to ensure the transfer of information from the UAE for the last 2 years.
He communicated with the Dubai bank that held 17 Black’s account, sent information to the UAE’s Attorney General and Financial Intelligence Unit and has held high level meetings with UAE officials to ensure a resolution to the impasse.
In August, the MEP testified during the Public Inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. He informed the board that over the past months, he received information from Dubai that rubbished claims made by high-level Maltese officials that the UAE authorities were not cooperating in the investigation on 17 Black.
“The complete request that was just submitted raises serious questions on the veracity of evidence given under oath by members of the Maltese Police Force. The circumstances that allowed a complete request to be delayed for so long must be investigated. Whilst I welcome this development, I encourage the UAE authorities to transfer the requested information as soon as possible, and insist that once the information is shared, the Maltese authorities do their duty and take all the necessary steps to ensure that justice is not delayed any longer. I will continue to monitor developments very closely,” he said.