The Malta Independent 20 February 2019, Wednesday

Watch: 'Freedom of expression', PM says when asked about Franco Debono corruption comments

Albert Galea Tuesday, 5 February 2019, 09:07 Last update: about 15 days ago

Asked for his reaction to comments by former PN MP and current Law Commissioner Franco Debono, wherein the criminal lawyer called Joseph Muscat the most corrupt politician that Malta had ever seen, Muscat yesterday simply responded with the phrase “freedom of expression”.

Debono’s name was thrusted back into the limelight over the past few days, after he launched a scathing attack on Muscat and called him the most corrupt politician that Malta had ever seen. 

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This statement came hot on the heels of another contentious blog post, wherein Debono said that from all the facts in the public domain one can argue that given the circumstantial evidence, the secret company Egrant belongs to Joseph Muscat or someone close to him.

"Muscat should stop playing hide and seek. I've known him since Form 2C and I've never known him to be particularly brilliant... The Egrant inquiry didn't find who Egrant belongs to nor did it find who it doesn't belong to, because it seems as though it excluded no one," he wrote.

The blog post lambasting Muscat as the most corrupt politician in Malta’s history seems to have since been removed from Debono’s blog website.

Questioned by The Malta Independent outside Parliament on Monday for his reaction to Debono’s statements, Muscat simply replied with the phrase “freedom of expression”, before walking off.

Debono served as an MP for the Nationalist Party between 2008 and 2013, a term that will be remembered for his incessant attacks against his own party's Cabinet led by Lawrence Gonzi. It was Debono who eventually voted against a Budget Measures Implementation Bill in Parliament to topple the PN government. After the 2013 election, he was elected Law Commissioner by the Labour government.

In a separate post, Debono took aim at President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca for her intervention in the Constitutional Convention – a convention which Debono had in actual fact been tasked with in the first place.

He said the constitutional convention never took off because President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca insisted and put pressure so that she would be the one to hold it.

He said that while he never had the problem of having theconvention fall under the patrimony of the President, he says:  "however it seems that her intention, and she even applied pressure for this, was for her to organise the convention herself."

 

 

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