Konrad Mizzi files libel suit against Caruana Galizia

He asked for the case to be heard with urgency

Minister Konrad Mizzi has filed a second libel suit against Daphne Caruana Galizia amid new claims yesterday that large sums of money were transferred into his Panama company.

In a blog post, Ms Caruana Galizia claimed that a company owned by one of the two daughters of Azerbaijan ruler Ilham Aliyev, last year transferred very large sums of money, described as “loan payments”, to Hearnville Inc, Tillgate Inc and Egrant Inc.

Dr Mizzi asked for the case to be heard with urgency.

A government statement said that as Dr Mizzi (owner of Hearnville) had already declared, and as confirmed by the Crowe Horwath independent audit, his company never had a bank account and never traded or received any funds or entered into a commercial relationship.

Similar denials were made yesterday by Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister's chief of staff and owner of Tillgate and this afternoon by Brian Tonna, who claims to have owned Egrant Inc, a shelf company, throughout its existence.

In a blog post, Ms Caruana Galizia claimed that the transfers were made by Al Sahra FZCO, a company owned by Leyla Aliyeva. The company is incorporated in Dubai's free zone and Ms Aliyeva is the ultimate beneficial owner.

The payments, she said, were made through Al Sahra FZCO’s account at Pilatus Bank.

Ms Caruana Galizia said she will be publishing more details today.

READ: How the Panama Papers were unwrapped - Matthew Caruana Galizia and Frederik Obermaier explain