The Malta Independent 18 June 2024, Tuesday
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Joseph Muscat says he will sue those who want Egrant inquiry reopened once found innocent

Saturday, 3 June 2023, 06:27 Last update: about 2 years ago

Joseph Muscat on Friday threatened to take legal action against those who are seeking to reopen the Egrant inquiry.

“A good boxer has to be able to take as many punches as he can give. But I will then be punching back," the former prime minister said in a one-hour interview with former Labour Party president Manuel Cuischieri on Smash TV. 

"When nothing is found against me, I will personally sue those who called for its reopening," he said.

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Muscat said that a magisterial inquiry has already found no evidence of his ownership of the secret Panama offshore company.

"I don’t underestimate that there are forged documents in the evidence submitted, just as signatures in the Egrant affair were found to have been forged."

Muscat said it was clear some people wanted the hospitals' project to fail because they were comfortable with the status quo and did not want to see changes to the health sector. He did not elaborate.

He insisted that earnings when he resigned from Prime Minister were legitimate and he had ample proof that everything was in order. Some of the work involved projects unrelated to Malta, he said. In one such project, a president of a particular country was involve, he added, without giving further details.

Muscat is being probed on a consultancy contract which earned him €60,000, and which could have been used as a vehicle to disguise payments from the hospitals deal, which was rescinded last February by a court of law.

Muscat made no reference to this judgment in the interview, only referring to the National Audit Office reports on the deal.

He said he did not agree with some of the analysis made by the NAO, and pointed out that the auditor general had asked for a police investigation.

He said he left the post of prime minister at a young age, unlike others who had already surpassed their retirement age when they left politics.  

“I gave the country my best when I was prime minister but now I have to continue with my life. This is what prime ministers do abroad."

“So let’s mention former ministers like Austin Gatt, Tonio Fenech, Mario de Marco, Joe Borg, or Joe Saliba... all became consultants in the private sector after their political companies, with companies which also had relations with previous governments.”

He said he had sought the recusal of the magistrate conducting the hospitals inquiry because of the continuous leaks from the inquiry. The request has been turned down.

Muscat said magistrate Gabriella Vella had opted not to listen to his testimony for over a year and he had only been called after he sought her recusal. He said he would be taking the next steps as necessary.

“It is a dirty game being played,” he said.

“They want to see Muscat taken to court... I know that even if this happens, I know I have the people’s support, and even if I’m left alone to fight it, they would have wasted two years of my life for nothing to happen,” Muscat said.

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