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Prime Minister: ‘Busuttil doesn’t want Egrant inquiry out before 3 June’

Joseph Muscat insists he will appear before EP committee once the result of the Egrant inquiry is out

miriam
Miriam Dalli
19 May 2017, 12:45pm
Joseph Muscat has challenged Simon Busuttil to step down if Egrant allegation is confirmed to be a lie
Joseph Muscat has challenged Simon Busuttil to step down if Egrant allegation is confirmed to be a lie
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has once again accused Simon Busuttil of delaying the Egrant inquiry, “in the full knowledge that he’s lying”.

This morning, Busuttil appeared before Magistrate Aaron Bugeja to present evidence he said to have against the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri.

According to Busuttil, the evidence would show that Schembri gave €600,000 to former Times of Malta managing director Adrian Hillman in what would be “a textbook case of money laundering”.

A second magistrate, Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, is already investigating other accusations which Busuttil leveled against Keith Schembri. Yesterday, Busuttil filed a court application to appear before Magistrate Bugeja.

This morning, Busuttil was filmed entering the law courts, with two of his assistants each carrying four box files.

Muscat argued that Busuttil intentionally opted for Bugeja – instead of Galea Sciberras – because he wanted to prolong the result of the Egrant inquiry as much as possible.

“[Busuttil] doesn’t want the result of the inquiry to be published before the election. It’s evident what’s going to happen if he tells the magistrate what he has publicly said: the magistrate will issue another court order saying Busuttil needs to go to another magistrate, as has already happened. The result of all of this would be that Busuttil wasted 48 hours of the magistrate’s time.”

“Busuttil is panicking because he knows [Egrant allegation] is a lie. If he thinks that it’s going to be mindboggling when the inquiry finds that the allegation is false, it will be up to him to seek answers from those who made up this calumny.

“It’s his problem not mine: he will have to carry the political responsibility for this lie, for having harmed this country and for having hounded my family,” the Labour leader said.

Muscat once again confirmed that he would appear before the European Parliament’s committee on Panama Papers once the result of the inquiry is out.

“I am not going there to make arguments but to present the proof. I will go as soon as the inquiry report is out.”

Asked for the publication of Schembri’s invoices with regard to payments made to Hillamn, Muscat reiterated that the Times Of Malta must first publish the inquiry it had conducted into Hillman when the allegations first surfaced last year.

“What happened in 2006 onwards has nothing to do with government business,” Muscat added.

 

miriam
Miriam Dalli graduated in communications studies from the University of ...
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