The Malta Independent 12 July 2024, Friday
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Updated: Only a Nationalist government can get hospitals’ money back - Grech

Albert Galea Thursday, 11 July 2024, 11:18 Last update: about 22 hours ago

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech said Thursday that it is now clear that only a Nationalist government can get the €400 million given to Vitals Global Healthcare and Steward Health Care back, after a court ruled that it could not force the State Advocate to open such a case itself.

Judge Toni Abela on Thursday morning ruled that it would be unconstitutional were he to order the State Advocate to open a case to recoup the money paid to the hospital concessionaires.

Emerging from the law courts to speak to the media, Grech referred to past court judgements which he said confirmed that the government's highest officials in collusion with those who defrauded and robbed the Maltese people.

He said that the PN had done everything as it felt it should, given that "everybody has failed the Maltese people", and after even the Prime Minister refused to open a case as is his right to get the money that the people were robbed of.

"The Maltese people were robbed of millions, some of which we now know were used for frame-ups, for bribery between them - these are established facts, but the Prime Minister doesn't want to get the money of the Maltese people back," he said.

Grech said that the court had ruled that the State Advocate has to follow the government's instructions.

"This means that if Prime Minister Robert Abela does not want to get the people's money back, and the State Advocate does not do this as he can only, according to the court, work on the Prime Minister's instructions; then  it seems that we have a situation where the money can only be returned when there is a Nationalist government," he said.

Grech said that this means that the PN has an obligation that since the Prime Minister and State Advocate "have failed the Maltese state," then it is the Nationalist Party which must keep working to get the money of the Maltese people back.

Asked what the next steps are for the PN, Grech said that the party will first and foremost keep putting pressure on the Prime Minister and the government because they have "failed and abandoned patients."

"€400 million were meant to be spent on you, but instead these high government officials kept on giving millions knowing that nothing was being done and there were no plans to do anything," Grech said.

Grech said that the Prime Minister would be failing the people every day that he doesn't open a case to get the money back.

Grech continued that the party would be studying the court's judgement to consider its next steps.

He described Abela as being "weak and compromised", as wanting to favour the corrupt and as being afraid to say that he won't be trying to get the people's money back.

"Why does Abela keep choosing the criminals they are complicit with over the Maltese people?," the PN leader questioned.

"The courts today confirmed that Robert Abela or the State Advocate under the Robert Abela's instructions must open the case.  The question is why is Robert Abela so weak, compromised, and powerless to get the money of the Maltese people back," Grech said.

Addressing the media in a press conference at the party headquarters later, Grech reiterated that the PN will continue to take the necessary steps.

He challenged Abela to take legal steps against him (Grech) if he (Abela) genuinely believes that he lied under oath.

“The people should come first, not criminals, nor the mafia organisation leading the country.”

PN spokesman for health Adrian Delia, who had instituted the court case which had led to the annulment of the deal, said the PN had done all it coulf to stop the contracts which would have cost the country around four billion euro over 30 years.

The case against the State Advocate was done in order to establish who had the power and duty to protect the Maltese people and return the 400 million which "were stolen". The court’s decision today was that only the PM can give the instruction to begin procedures to recoup the money.

He said ]that Robert Abela spent half the 5 years of the case defending foreign companies and lied about trying to bring back the money.

Delia criticised Abela for his statement following the court decision, saying that there has never been a situation in the country’s political history where an ex-Prime Minister, ex-Health and Finance Ministers, as well as permanent secretaries and others in the government going through criminal procedures.

 

“Our country’s Prime Minister is a hostage of a pact he made which he cannot get rid of,” Delia said.

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