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Watch: Police raid Pilatus Bank offices in Ta' Xbiex

On-site inquiry following allegations Egrant is owned by Prime Minister's wife

  • Video: Matthew Mirabelli

  • A law court car arrives at the bank's office. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

    A law court car arrives at the bank's office. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Updated 1.32pm - Added video of Pilatus Bank chairman

Police officers and duty magistrate Aaron Bugeja are at Pilatus Bank offices in Ta' Xbiex as an inquiry into claims that Panama company Egrant is owned by the Prime Minister's wife began this morning. 

The inquiry was requested by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat late yesterday, who has angrily denied the claims and said he will be suing Daphne Caruana Galizia, who first published the allegations on her blog. 

READ: Muscat denies claims that his wife owns Egrant

Earlier in the evening, a man and a woman were seen leaving the bank's offices carrying a number of bags. According to Ms Caruana Galizia, the two are the bank's owner and risk manager. 

Police cars parked outside the bank's Ta' Xbiex offices. Photo: Matthew MirabelliPolice cars parked outside the bank's Ta' Xbiex offices. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

In a statement, Pilatus welcomed the magisterial inquiry and denied having any alleged ties to Dr Muscat, his family or Egrant. 

It added that insinuations that the bank had removed evidence were completely false, with the luggage carried by the bank's chairman being his own. 

READ: Pilatus Bank denies claims linking it to PM's family

"This is a fact that can easily be verified and confirmed through CCTV footage that will show the chairman entering the Bank’s premises with the same luggage and briefcase shown on the TV clip on leaving the Bank," it said in a statement.

Pilatus Bank chairman Seyed Ali Sadr refused to comment on alleged ties the bank has to Azerbaijan regime. Video: Mark Zammit CordinaPilatus Bank chairman Seyed Ali Sadr refused to comment on alleged ties the bank has to Azerbaijan regime. Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

"The mere suggestion that any documents were removed from the Bank’s premises is simply fiction, and a complete distortion of fact."

In a press conference this morning, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil called for the Prime Minister's resignation and said the Nationalist Party would be holding a demonstration on Sunday.

And in a post on Facebook, former AD chairman Michael Briguglio wrote "Malta is facing an institutional crisis. The Prime Minister should resign until his name is cleared. I will be attending Sunday's protest."

 

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