Jimmy Magro corruption probe still pending after 21 months

Police still 'actively' investigating case, parliament told

Mr Magro's case continues to drag on.

Mr Magro's case continues to drag on.

Almost two years after the Permanent Commission Against Corruption said it was “morally convinced”  ex-Labour general secretary Jimmy Magro received kickbacks, the police are still “actively” investigating.

The issue was raised by former Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil in a parliamentary question to Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia.

In a one-line reply, the minister remarked that the case was still being “actively” investigated by the police economic crimes unit.

In a report in February last year, which had also been tabled in Parliament, the Permanent Commission Against Corruption said it was “morally convinced” that Mr Magro had requested kickbacks in return for awarding a tender.

The contract in question dated back to the summer of 2014 when Mr Magro, who was on the books of State investment arm Malta Enterprise, was serving as an adviser to the Local Councils Association. Prior to this job, he had also served as the association’s executive secretary between 2007 and 2013 and previously as Labour Party general secretary from 1992 to 2003.

In its report, the anti-corruption watchdog said Mr Magro had requested a €25,000 cut from one of the bidders in return for securing the contract. Mr Magro, who denies any wrongdoing, was quoted in the report saying that part of the money would pay the costs of a holiday in France and a pending €5,000 tax bill.

The commission, headed by Judge Lawrence Quintano, had concluded that this was “a case of corruption or an attempt at corruption” by a public officer, which should ultimately be decided by a court. Though no bribes were paid, the commission declared it was “morally convinced” Mr Magro had requested kickbacks.

The police had told Times of Malta last January they were awaiting replies from foreign jurisdictions before proceeding to interrogate the main subjects in the case.

They pointed out that the level of proof they had to reach in an investigation before proceeding to criminal prosecution was “higher” than that which the Permanent Commission Against Corruption was obliged to obtain.

There have been no further pronouncements by the police on the case since.

Meanwhile, Mr Magro has been refunded €9,000 in deducted salaries by Malta Enterprise after being allowed to “retire” prior to the conclusion of the probe.

He has filed a constitutional application claiming he suffered huge reputational and financial damage as a result of the report published by the anti-corruption watchdog.

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