The Malta Independent 15 June 2024, Saturday
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‘Abela is asking for people’s judgement whilst withholding the contents of Vitals inquiry’ – Grech

Semira Abbas Shalan Monday, 6 May 2024, 12:00 Last update: about 2 months ago

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech condemned Prime Minister Robert Abela for keeping the contents and conclusions of the Vitals magisterial inquiry from him, as well as from the public, who are being asked to make judgements in the upcoming elections.

“Robert Abela wants you to make judgements without you knowing the contents and facts of the inquiry, and is using it to invent stories of the establishment,” Grech said.

Speaking in a press conference on Monday, Grech said that the government has attacked the inquiry’s content by attacking the messenger –the magistrate in question – as well as the timing of the conclusions. Grech said he believes Abela seemingly believes that there are hidden powers working against government in this regard.

“It is clear that Abela and others are worried about the contents of the inquiry,” Grech said, while reiterating that Abela and other persons have a copy of the full inquiry report.

He said that when asked if he had the inquiry report in his hands, Abela tried to escape the question, yet was then caught. Grech said Abela knows full well the contents of the inquiry, and is doing all he can to preserve his position, “throw away” whomever he wants, and tries to save whomever he wishes to save.

“The fact that these few people have access to the inquiry is not acceptable. We repeatedly called for the conclusions on the biggest fraud in the country to be published, and we will continue making pressure,” Grech said, adding that the three hospitals were only given back to the public on the PN’s merit.

Grech said he wrote to the Attorney General to increase the pressure for the report to be published, and to be given a copy as the Leader of the Opposition.

Addressing the public, Grech said that the party is working for the people’s right to know the contents of the inquiry, just as it fought on the high cost of living, on the Jean Paul Sofia public inquiry, and other problems in the country.

Grech said the PN will continue defending the judiciary which Abela attacks, and will continue working for the inquiry conclusions to be published.

Asked by the media if the PN has a timeline in which it would then resort to legal action should the AG fail to forward a copy of the conclusions, Grech said that the PN has a timeline and a plan it will follow.

“The message is certainly clear, if the AG will not publish the inquiry conclusions, or give a copy to me, we will be resorting to ulterior legal action,” Grech said.

Grech also said that Abela withholding the truth is “abusive,” and is doing so because he is afraid, and wants to keep control.

He said that as soon as Abela became Prime Minister, he stopped the Xarabank program from being aired on the national broadcaster, as he is afraid of having anyone criticise him.

PL Statement

The Labour Party issued a statement in reaction to Grech, saying that it was Abela who first said that the inquiry into the concession of hospitals should be published in its entirety.

The PL said that the inquiry, which had been ongoing for four and a half years, was 'completed' at this moment in the run-up to the 8 June elections.

"The Leader of the Opposition, on the other hand, first came out saying that the Attorney General and the Commissioner should proceed immediately, and now he says he needs a copy of the inquiry," the PL said.

It said that Grech also said that he will continue to apply pressure, moving according to the directions and priorities he and his party have. Therefore, "he declared that he will continue with politics of threats," it said.

The PL accused the Nationalist Party and its members of lying on social media, and said that this action by the establishment is "dangerous."


 

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