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[WATCH] PN leader ‘will not get into merits’ of Gozo sheep culling case

Opposition leader says he used Gozitan shepherd's aired grievances 'to highlight extent of Joseph Muscat's deceit' 

Tim Diacono
23 February 2016, 5:38pm
Busuttil 'ready to meet' Gozitan shepherd 'betrayed' by Muscat
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said he will not get into the merits of a court case against a Gozitan shepherd, whose grievances he had aired during a recent political activity.

“It is not up to the PN to decide whether Ganni Attard’s case holds water or not; that’s up to the Prime Minister to decide as it was he who had made promises to him before the election.”

Shadow Gozo minister Chris Said had earlier called for a “common sense solution” that would respect both the shepherd and the law.

During a PN political activity in Attard, Busuttil aired an audio clip of Ganni Attard, who had called the party’s radio station Radio 101 to complain that Joseph Muscat had failed to intervene to stop his sheep from being culled.

“I was a Nationalist who used to support Giovanna [Debono],” he said. “However, when my sheep were taken from me, I ran after Muscat in Qala and ended up voting for [Labour MP] Franco Mercieca.”

He added that he had since e-mailed Simon Busuttil, requesting a meeting. 

The Labour Party had accused Busuttil of “using a person of dubious repute to criticise a court decision.

However, Busuttil told the press during a meeting to the University that he only aired Attard’s complaint to “highlight the extent of Joseph Muscat’s deceit”.

“Irrespective of whether Attard has a point in his court case or not, the PN’s message was that Muscat had won the election through deceit,” Busuttil said. “He promised everything to everyone, used people for their vote, and forgot them after the election. Unlike him, I will not conduct any backroom deals.”

He left his door open to a potential future meeting with Attard, insisting that the PN is "unlike the government who had left waiting for three years without a response". 

Attard’s case began in November 2012, when the veterinary authorities raided his Gharb farm and killed 216 of his unregistered sheep. They argued later that any unregistered animal was automatically presumed to be sick and therefore a health hazard.

Even though tests proved that none of the sheep were in fact sick, an Appeals Court recently upheld a magistrate’s decision to cull the remainder of the sheep, forcing Attard to take his case to the Constitutional Court.

Tim Diacono is a journalist at MaltaToday