The Malta Independent 23 October 2018, Tuesday

Delia refrains from condemning Busuttil's remarks, says he is entitled to his own opinion

Thursday, 11 October 2018, 12:55 Last update: about 11 days ago

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia refrained from passing judgment on remarks made by his predecessor Simon Busuttil in Parliament, saying that people are free to express what they believed. Delia was asked to comment after Busuttil, in Parliament, said he still believes that a company by the name of Egrant that was opened in Panama belonged to the Prime Minister. He said as he has reiterated in the past that this is Busuttil's personal position and not that of the PN.

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Delia added that he had reiterated his position on the matter in the past that it this is Busuttil's personal opinion and not that of the PN. 

The fundamental question, Delia said, was that this was all brought on by the "rampant speculation fuelled by the AG's attitude to insist and persist" in not published the entire Egrant inquiry.

He also said by providing the document to the "PM, his wife, their lawyers, the Minister of Justice, and his lawyers", the AG was putting the country through "turmoil" and fuelling "unnecessary" parliamentary debates.

Pressed on whether he would condemn Busuttil's accusations that the PM and his wife were the owners of Egrant and that the PM had somehow been involved with evidence tampering, Delia stood by his position, adding that it was the PM himself who initially made serious allegations in Busuttil, by calling him a "fraudster" and implying that he was involved with the falsification of signatures.

"Busuttil is free to believe what he wants; being part of a political party does not mean that you simply lose your brain and stop holding certain beliefs; it is not something that I need to sanction," he said. 

On the issue of Egrant itself, he said that the inquiry had gone too short in merely establishing that a certain individual did not own the company, explaining that the discovery of its actual owner would stop speculation and allow the country to start rebuilding its reputation abroad. 

Delia then made reference to a statement he released earlier in the day, requesting the government to appoint a "special, autonomous and independent" commission with the following terms of reference: identify what were the shortcomings in the provision of protection to the assassinated journalist, investigate what "authorities" knew or could have known about the threats to Caruana Galizia and investigate whether these authorities failed to act on what they knew to protect the journalist.

He also commented on scenes in Parliament yesterday, saying that he, along with the PM, speaker, and President, have called for order and better behaviour in the House.

Delia at MCAST comments prt 2 from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.

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