The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

Muscat contests Hyzler report: ‘They were exceptional circumstances’

Friday, 3 July 2020, 15:52 Last update: about 1 month ago

Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has contested the Standards Commissioner report finding him in breach of the code of ethics, saying that it is based on perception and not on facts.

“I believe that not enough weight was given to the exceptional circumstances of the case; in spite of the documented threats received, I continue to carry out my duties without fear or favour… this is not a perception but a fact.”

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Muscat was referring to a report by Standards Commissioner George Hyzler who found Muscat to have prima facie breached the code of ethics after he received expensive bottles of wine from Yorgen Fenech, months before the latter was arrested in connection with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In a reaction on Facebook, Muscat said he respects the role of the commissioner but cannot agree on his decision.

He said that he had explained his position in a letter to the commissioner. “In delicate and unique situations like these one needs to take a decision,” he said. “These were decisions taken in particular moments and based on knowledge and consultation. I took those decisions and carry responsibility for them. And in spite of results being achieved, contrary to what other Prime Ministers did, I shouldered by responsibility and resigned.”

He said he remains as the only PM to have left a list of gifts that he had received, including the Petrus wines indicated in the report. This factor was not given relevance, Muscat said. When Labour had won the election very little was found in government offices. “Maybe I was wrong not to say anything at the time because my mind was focussed on working for the country. But now I ask myself what happened to all those things received during 25 years of (PN) government with two prime ministers and tens of ministers and parliamentary secretaries”.

Among the list of items he had left to the state was a numbered watch that was given to politicians and personalities when Malta became an EU member state. “It is only my watch that is in the hands of the state,” Muscat said.

 

Filwaqt li nirrispetta l-irwol tal-Kummissarju dwar l-Istandards, kariga li daħħal Gvern Laburista wara li ħaddiehor...

Posted by Joseph Muscat on Friday, 3 July 2020
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