The Malta Independent 23 October 2018, Tuesday

Egrant inquiry: 50 pages published do not exonerate the Prime Minister – Busuttil

Friday, 12 October 2018, 19:07 Last update: about 10 days ago

Nationalist MP Simon Busuttil this evening insisted that the 50-pages published by the government from the Egrant inquiry report “do not exonerate” the Prime Minister.

The inquiry found no evidence that Joseph and Michelle Muscat owned the infamous Panamanian company called Egrant. This week, Busuttil told Parliament that he still believes Muscat to be the owner.

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Speaking on Net TV on Friday evening, Busuttil described the atmosphere in Parliament on Tuesday as “toxic.”

Tuesday’s sitting had to be temporarily suspended after the House descended into chaos. Busuttil says Muscat was threatening him when he told him that “he would not be able to return to Malta.” The PM later qualified his remark, saying that what he meant to say was that the former PN leader would not be able to return “out of shame.”

Busuttil said Tuesday was a “black day for democracy.” He said Muscat had shouted disgraceful words that do not befit a prime minister. “You can disagree with what I say but I should be allowed to say it,” he insisted.

“When this happens in the days when we are marking one year since the assassination of DCG it is clear the PM was sending a very serious message.”

Busuttil said PN Leader Adrian Delia was right “when he told the PM that he should not accuse me of something when he has not release the full report yet.”

Delia was also right in saying that the country was more interested in learning who Egrant belongs to, rather than who it does not belong to.

Busuttil said he has “full faith” in inquiring magistrate Aaron Bugeja, but noted that the terms of reference of the inquiry had been established by the Prime Minister. “The magistrate said that his remit was not to find out who Egrant belongs to, but whether it belongs to Muscat and his wife. And, the conclusion is not that Egrant does not belong to the PM, but rather that the magistrate did not find proof that it does. So the suspicions remain.”

He insisted that the suspicion remains because Muscat has refused to sack Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, who opened up companies in Panama to receive corruption money. “The 50 pages that were published do not exonerate Muscat,” Busuttil said.

He also said the PM should have asked Chris Cardona to step aside until his name was cleared (after he was linked to one of the alleged killers) but the PM could not even do this simple thing.

Busuttil also played down claims of division within the party, saying that “we are united by the values we have been fighting for years.” 

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