The Malta Independent 26 September 2023, Tuesday
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'Egrant scandal was coordinated attack and Simon Busuttil knew what was happening' – PM

Albert Galea Sunday, 29 July 2018, 12:12 Last update: about 6 years ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said in an interview on Sunday that whilst he did not want to speculate over who was behind the allegations against him and his family, he said that he was certain that then Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil knew exactly what was going to happen every day in relation to this scandal; "it was a co-ordinated attack and he was part of it".

Muscat said that he had reached this conclusion after being approached by people, weeks before the Egrant allegations were made, who told him that they had been told by Busuttil that he had the papers in hand to show that Egrant belonged to the Prime Minister's wife, Michelle Muscat, and that they would be released when the time was right.

What was also certain to Muscat was that Busuttil had worked to attribute these documents onto others and to create a "smokescreen" over himself to make people believe that he was saying nothing himself.  However, now Busuttil is worried that this mask will fall as well, Muscat said.

 All Busuttil could do now to save face, Muscat said, was to resign and leave the political scene as the people had made a judgement on him and that judgement could not be changed.

Speaking on the report, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he had not read the full inquiry himself yet as he was not ready to do so without getting angry.

This was because that when sitting down to read it he had once again begun to understand the lengths that people had gone to invent allegations on him, his wife and his family, Muscat said.

Speaking on the conclusions of the Egrant inquiry, Muscat said that what was important across the board was that he has heard no controversy over whether the magistrate did his job properly or not.  There have only been what he described as political arguments, and he said that it is clear that the main conclusions of the report had been accepted.

Asked whether he wanted justice to be done on those who made such allegations, Musact said that he was interested in justice taking its course, but not in any form of retaliation.  He said that if there was anyone who should be angry at this point it should be him and his wife Michelle Muscat, who was accused of being the ultimate beneficiary owner of the Panama-based company Egrant, but that they were staying "calm" and "serene".

It was the job of the country's institutions such as the police force, the law courts and the Attorney General and that if they took the law into their own hands they would simply be playing into the hands of those saying that there is no rule of law in the country, Muscat explained.

In this respect however, Muscat said that for the first time in his tenure he was going to go against the advice of the Attorney General to publish the full inquiry.  Muscat had initially wanted to publish the inquiry in full with no redactions whatsoever; but having received legal advice, the inquiry will now be published with certain redactions which relate to the details of individuals who were external to the case, and to names that were mentioned as candidates for further investigation by the country's authorities.

A statement released by the office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday said that a process was underway to see that the inquiry was "thoroughly analysed" in view of the reasons presented above and that it would be published in the coming days.

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