The Malta Independent 17 June 2024, Monday
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Fearne says he has no doubt a court would find him completely innocent

Friday, 3 May 2024, 15:41 Last update: about 3 months ago

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne has no doubt that a court would find him completely innocent.

The Times of Malta published an article stating that Fearne, who is Malta's nominee for the post of European Commissioner and is Malta's former health minister, as well as Edward Scicluna and three top civil servants will likely be charged with crimes related to the Vitals hospitals deal. "The five are believed to be within a second tier of suspects eyed for criminal prosecution. While not suspected of having played leading roles in the fraudulent deal, they are understood to have come under scrutiny for potential dereliction of duty," it reports.

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Fearne, posting on Facebook, said that in light of the possibility that the Vitals inquiry that closed "could lead to me being procedurally called before the Magistrate's court, I am eager for the opportunity to defend my integrity." He said that to this day he still doesn't know what the inquiry contains and what conclusions it has reached.

"This in no way worries me," Fearne said. He said that since he always acted in a correct and lawful manner, "nothing can surprise me or make me ashamed."

Fearne said that the facts already speak for themselves and that a while ago, in connection to this case, serious yet anonymous allegations were made on the operation of his Ministry. He said that he personally and immediately went to the Police Commissioner to ask to be investigated and offered his full cooperation. 

This was done, Fearne said, and the response of the Police Commissioner was that "the case has been exhaustively and thoroughly investigated, and there result to be no grounds for any criminal action to be taken".

Fearne said that he has no doubt that the result will be the same at the end of this proceeding that appears there will be. He said he will be clear and plain in saying that not every initiative or project he led as a minister was fully successful in every aspect, however he always acted in the interests of the patient and the country.

Above all, Fearne insisted that he was never close to breaking the law or ministerial ethics.

"That is why I declare that I have absolutely no doubt that the court will find nothing except my complete innocence."

He added that he was strictly speaking only about himself. "As a minister and citizen of a democratic and European country I fully maintain the belief that justice should not look at any faces."

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that it will be his own discretion, and not that of any magistrate or inquiry, on whether to accept any resignations from government officials and ministers. Abela was speaking to journalists and was asked about a MaltaToday report from Thursday night which suggested that Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne had shocked a Labour Party parliamentary group meeting by saying that he was ready to step down if he was mentioned in the Vitals Global Healthcare magisterial inquiry.

 

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