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[WATCH] Allegations of Russian meddling ‘show Muscat has lost the plot’

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil dismisses report by IntelligenceOnline.com: ‘Muscat should be humble enough to realize that Putin doesn't care whether he or someone else runs Malta’

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
24 May 2017, 11:42am
Last updated on 24 May 2017, 12:46pm
PN leader Simon Busuttil was addressing a press conference in Zonqor. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
PN leader Simon Busuttil was addressing a press conference in Zonqor. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Leader of the Opposition Simon Busuttil has rubbished online reports which allege Russian meddling in Malta’s election, insisting that such an allegation was “ridiculous and presumptuous”.

This morning, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he had been warned “to expect retribution” for Malta’s role – as the current EU presidency – in hastening the visa waiver programme for Ukraine and for stopping the refuelling of a warship on the way to Syria.

"I don't know whether to laugh or cry," Busuttil said, in response to questions from journalists at a press conference.

“It's absurd to believe that Russia could have been behind the case, and Muscat should be humble enough to realize that it will hardly make a difference to Vladimir Putin whether he or someone else runs the country. He is in such a desperate situation that he has resorted to making such foolish statements. He has lost the plot completely.”

According to Busuttil, if there truly existed such a threat, then Muscat would have called an urgent meeting of the national security committee, that the Opposition leader is a member of.

"He didn’t call such a meeting. Muscat is clutching at straws and he is trying to take everyone down with him."

A report by specialist publication IntelligenceOnline.com claimed that the whistleblower in the Egrant allegations, a Russian national, was connected to these claims.

At a press conference today, said he could not state, as claimed in the report, whether the whistleblower was connected to these claims.

Busuttil added that the dates in the report don’t tally, as the refuelling case had occurred late in 2016, a year after the Russian whistleblower arrived in Malta.

“Moreover, the report claims that the whistleblower's partner is a Russian national, when he is actually Greek,” Busuttil said.

The publication namedropped Alex Zaslavsky, saying the whistleblower works for a St Julian’s eMoney payment firm, that belongs to Zaslavsky.

MaltaToday could not confirm whether Zaslavsky, listed as an American citizen with a California domicile according to the Maltese company registry, shares the same address with the whistleblower as claimed in IntelligenceOnline.com.