The Malta Independent 18 June 2019, Tuesday

Indepth: On Egrant, I agree with Simon Busuttil - Jason Azzopardi

INDEPTH online Friday, 12 October 2018, 13:35 Last update: about 9 months ago

Cardona’s explanations a ‘red herring’ - Jason Azzopardi

Following the declaration of former PN leader and current MP Simon Busuttil in Parliament earlier this week, wherein Busuttil said that he and thousands of others believed that the company Egrant belongs to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, fellow PN MP Jason Azzopardi has joined the chorus, stating his agreement with Busuttil's statement whilst speaking on the newly rebranded and revamped Indepth.

Asked by Malta Independent Editor in Chief Rachel Attard about Busuttil's declaration in parliament and whether he agreed with what was said, Azzopardi replied in the affirmative, saying that in the context of the conclusion, the magistrate "did not exclude that the company was never intended for Joseph Muscat".  Based on that, Azzopardi said, he could not exclude that the company did not belong to the Prime Minister.


Furthermore, if Egrant was such a sore point for Muscat, Azzopardi questioned, then why did he retain Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri in their respective roles after they opened their own secret companies.  "It must be the case therefore that Joseph Muscat is receiving something from the secret companies, since he keeps defending them", Azzopardi said.

The PN MP said that contrary to what the government was trying to spin, nobody was doubting the magistrate's conclusions or his integrity; but the fact remained that the magistrate could not say to whom it belongs - "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", Azzopardi said.

PL MP Edward Zammit Lewis, who was the other guest on Indepth in its new debate format, on his part said that Azzopardi and the PN were in a state of "total confusion". 

He said that instead of coming onto the programme to discuss a better future for the country, he has instead ended up trying to be Sherlock Holmes, except that while Sherlock Holmes solved cases, "Jason Azzopardi asks more questions than he finds solutions".

Zammit Lewis quoted a passage from the conclusions of the Egrant inquiry, which remains the only segment of the inquiry available to the public, saying how Harbinson Forensics wrote that they "have not seen any documents revealing that the Ultimate Beneficiary Owner of Egrant was anyone other than Brian Tonna".

Addressing Azzopardi, he said that notwithstanding this passage in the conclusions, him and the PN still insist on saying that they do not know to whom Egrant belongs.  "It is clear whom it belongs to, so why are you continuing to propagate this narrative", the PL MP asked.

Joseph Muscat earlier this week said that Simon Busuttil and those who believe that Egrant belongs to the Prime Minister are living in a "parallel universe".  Asked whether, considering that the PN had lost an election by a historical margin in 2017, the PM's claims ring true, Azzopardi said that an electoral victory did not change what was wrong and what was right.

Indeed, Azzopardi claimed, there has to be something in it for Muscat since he kept Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi by his side.  The PN MP said that all people had to do was remember how Muscat had removed Anglu Farrugia for a couple of words directed at a magistrate.  "How much Joseph Muscat's standards have changed", Azzopardi said.



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