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Jimmy Magro says he suffered ‘huge damages’ from corruption probe

Former Labour general secretary files constitutional application

Former Labour general secretary Jimmy Magro has filed a constitutional application claiming that he suffered huge reputational and financial damage due to a report published by the Permanent Commission Against Corruption.

In a February 2017 report, the commission said it was “morally convinced” an attempt had been made by Mr Magro to solicit a €25,000 kickback on a public waste management tender. Moreover, he allegedly asked bidders to pay for a €5,000 holiday that he took in France in 2014.

Mr Magro, who has denied any wrongdoing, said in the court application filed last week that he was never given the opportunity to defend himself before the corruption commission.

He said he only came to know about the commission’s investigation into him and its conclusion through the media.

No charges filed over allegations

His court application follows a judicial protest Mr Magro filed last February claiming damages in the wake of the report.

The police launched a criminal investigation into the allegations against him, but to date no charges have been filed.

According to a 2014 Justice Reform Commission report, none of the 425 investigations opened by the commission since 1988 have led to any criminal charges.

Mr Magro said in the constitutional application that following the publication of the report, he was suspended from his employment at Malta Enterprise and removed as a director of the Water Services Corporation.

The Times of Malta revealed in February that Mr Magro was allowed to “retire” from Malta Enterprise and therefore be refunded €9,000 in deducted salary, despite having no retirement clause in his contract. 

The former Labour general secretary said in the application that the right to a fair hearing was enshrined not only in the Constitution but also in the European Convention on Human Rights. He called on the court to dismiss the commission’s findings, as it had failed to protect his rights by ensuring a fair hearing.

The Prime Minister, Attorney General, Justice Minister and commission were all named as respondents. Lawyers Stefan Camilleri, Stephen Tonna Lowell and Natalino Caruana de Brincat signed the application on behalf of Mr Magro.

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