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NEWS | Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Inquiry over missing CD from Judges’ bribery casefile

Matthew Vella

A magisterial inquiry over a compact disc which went missing from the file with the proceedings of the case of the bribery of two judges is still ongoing since it was reported missing back on 18 July. Home Affairs and Justice Minister Tonio Borg yesterday said the missing CD had not affected the prosecution of Mario Camilleri, aka l-Imniehru, who is accused alongside son Pierre and businessman Anthony Grech Sant of bribing former Chief Justice Noel Arrigo and Judge Patrick Vella. A magisterial inquiry was launched after the Criminal Court’s registrar filed a report on the missing CD. According to Borg, various witnesses have been interrogated, amongst them the Court registrar. Borg however said the prosecuting police inspectors presenting an original copy of the CD to the Court and that other copies of the CD were among the files for other cases related to the bribery accusations. Convicted drug baron Mario Camilleri was last November charged with threatening two Labour MPs in the wake of their stand against a contract awarded to his wife and son to offer cleaning services at the law courts. He phoned Labour MP Anglu Farrugia on his mobile from prison and used offensive language in retaliation for the MP’s public stand against the awarding of the contract, while Labour MP José Herrera was verbally threatened by Camilleri, who identified himself over the phone and told them bluntly, “shut up or you will pay for it!” The revelation about the cleaning contract caught the government off-guard, forcing Minister Tonio Borg to terminate the contract. The news rocked the courts administration also as Mario Camilleri is awaiting trial by jury for bribing former chief justice Noel Arrigo and judge Patrick Vella in a bid to have his jail term reduced on appeal. Special Cleaners was in fact a company run by Camilleri’s wife and son, which was responsible for the cleaning of the law courts for the four months it was active before its contract was terminated. However, Tonio Borg said no cleaner could enter any judge’s or magistrate’s chamber or court room unless in the presence of the registrar.

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