The Chief Minister says he will be convening the Inquiry into the decision by former Commissioner Ian McGrail to retire.
Reacting to the Opposition parties' statements on the Attorney General's decision, Fabian Picardo says all aspects of the administration of justice in Gibraltar are entirely independent of Ministers, as they should be.
In a statement, Number Six Convent Place says there was no benefit to be had by any Minister from the decision taken by the Attorney General which it says he has taken entirely independently and without consultation with the Government.
It says the Chief Minister was himself only informed by the Attorney General of his decision AFTER he entered the Nolle Prosequi, and that Michael Llamas briefed the Government and the Opposition as to his decision and the reasons for it.
The Government says it regrets that the Leader of the Opposition has once again been resorted to the politics of making baseless allegations based on rumour that amount to no more than mud-slinging and misinformation.
It says it is not surprised that Ms Hassan Nahon has followed Mr Azopardi’s lead and issued a characteristically hyperbolic statement about the alleged demise of our demonstrably vibrant democracy and, even more remarkably, attacking the moral standing of the Attorney General.
Mr Picardo says there are no issues arising which he would consider to be uncomfortable for the Government.
He says nobody is above the law in Gibraltar, especially Ministers who have an obligation to set an example . He says at the request of the Royal Gibraltar Police, he gave a Witness Statement in this case to the prosecuting authorities and confirmed that he would be available to the Court to give evidence if required, and says this alone should demonstrate that the Opposition parties' assumptions are entirely wrong and designed to tarnish his reputation.
He says any speculation linking this case to the retirement of Commissioner McGrail will be brought to a close when the Public Inquiry makes its findings public, and adds that arrangements are being made so that a statement convening that Inquiry can be made next week.
The Opposition says it is obvious that the Chief Minister has been dragged kicking and screaming into saying he will issue a statement convening the McGrail Inquiry next week.
The GSD says it will be obvious to everyone that he has been forced to do so.
The GSD says in July 2020 The Chief Minister promised the Inquiry would be convened “within weeks”, and 19 months later it has still not been convened.
Keith Azopardi says if the Chief Minister regrets the speculation as to the causes why then they are self-inflicted wounds, because he had the opportunity to decisively and swiftly deal with this in 2020.
The Leader of the Opposition says his party stands by its statement that the effect of the AG’s decision to halt the Conspiracy to Defraud case is to bury politically embarrassing facts for the Chief Minister, and that the public interest exercise has not been properly balanced.
He says when Ministers exercise statutory or constitutional power it needs to be subject to checks and balances, and that is why the GSD has been calling repeatedly for the McGrail Inquiry that was promised. He says it is important for our democracy that the Inquiry be held independently.