Top court rejects Malta’s extradition request for Russian whistleblower


Greece’s Supreme Court rejected on Thursday a request by Malta to extradite Russian former bank employee Maria Efimova, a whistleblower who helped murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia investigate money-laundering and alleged corruption in Pilatus Bank.

Malta wants to arrest Efimova for allegedly providing false evidence that could lead to another’s conviction, making false accusations to authorities, and theft.

According to Caruana Galicia’s research, Pilatus Bank is alleged to have facilitated shady transactions by the company Egrant Inc. that reportedly belonged to the spouse of Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Muscat and his wife have denied the accusations.

Appearing before the top court a month ago, 36-year-old Efimova had spoken of the danger she faced if she were to be handed over to Malta, saying she could meet the same fate as the assassinated journalist.

She had said she is the only witness left alive who can reveal state corruption in Malta and that makes her a target.

Caruana Galizia died in a car bomb in October 2017.