The Malta Independent 30 March 2023, Thursday
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Muscat was paid €60,000 from company linked to Steward Health Care - report

Sunday, 7 November 2021, 09:44 Last update: about 2 years ago

Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was paid €60,000 in consultancy fees that came from a Swiss company that had received millions from Steward Health Care, the Times of Malta reports.

Muscat was paid €60,000 to his BOV account in 2020, with the first payment having been made two months after he stepped down as Prime Minister for the country. The money paid to Muscat came from two companies run by lawyer Wasay Bhatti, in the form of four payments. Two came from Spring X Media and two from Accutor AG, Times of Malta said. The payments by Accutor to Muscat, The Times of Malta reports, were made under the terms of an indefinite consultancy contract between him and Spring X Media, though payments stopped in summer 2020.


The Swiss company in question, the report reads, received millions from Steward during the company's takeover of the hospital concession from Vitals Global Healthcare. It reports that Steward Health Care had wired €3.6 million to Accutor, the majority of which was paid on 20 February 2018, the same day Steward declared it finalised the PPP agreement to takeover the three hospitals in Malta.

Bhatti rejected any suggestion of wrongdoing when the Times of Malta contacted him.

Joseph Muscat, in a Facebook statement, said: "During the past days, The Times of Malta asked me about work I carried out after I stepped down from Prime Minister. While I am not aware that they ever asked other Prime Ministers (and even certain Ministers) about work and roles they took up after they stepped down, or what contracts and consultancies their children and offices landed, I did not have qualms in replying if in the public interest and without infringing on commercial interests of third parties. I was fully transparent."

"Nevertheless, the headline does not say I carried out work for this company, as they know I did, but rather that I was wired money. It implies I was given money for nothing or as supposed compensation for a transaction worth millions. The payments I received for assignments carried out over a number of months are nowhere near these amounts. But whoever gleams the headline is left unaware of this."

"The work I carried out over a number of months was not in any way related to projects related to the Maltese Government. It was spread over a number of countries, in different sectors, and is fully documented. All work and payments are fully declared, not as in the case of those who tried to rush and regularise their position with the tax authorities overnight because they were entering politics. I also did not do like those who first negotiated on behalf of government on large scale deals, and then went to lead the entity on the other side of the table," Muscat said.

"There are some who will never forgive me for helping bring about change in the country. They believe that I do not even have the right to work. But the more they insist, the more it is clear that these people still cannot offer an alternative for the country."





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