[WATCH] Busuttil lambasts Schembri’s police complaint as a ‘fascist attack on democracy’

Simon Busuttil accuses Joseph Muscat of ‘buying thousands of votes through corrupt practices’

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
20 July 2017, 6:51pm
Simon Busuttil addressed the press conference from the House of Representatives. Photo: James Bianchi
Simon Busuttil addressed the press conference from the House of Representatives. Photo: James Bianchi
Busuttil lambasts Schembri’s police complaint as a ‘fascist attack on democracy’
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil came out swinging after the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri filed a police complaint against him claiming he lied under oath.

Busuttil described it as an “unprecedented and fascist attack on democracy”.

Addressing a press conference at Parliament, the outgoing PN leader said that Schembri was trying to use the State’s tools, the police, to silence him for exposing and fighting government corruption.

“I wont be scared by this fascist attack, but rather it will only strengthen my resolve to continue fighting until justice reigns once more, as an MP and as a citizen,” he said.

“Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri bought thousands of votes through corrupt practices and they think that they can now stifle justice just because they won the election.”

Schembri this morning filed a police complaint against Busuttil, accusing him of lying under oath and of resorting to “fabrications and calumny”. This happened after Busuttil formally requested a magisterial inquiry into Schembri and tourism minister Konrad Mizzi into alleged money laundering through their offshore Panama companies when these were uncovered by the Panama Papers back in April 2016.

Asked by MaltaToday why he had waited over a year after the release of the Panama Papers before taking such action, Busuttil said that he had kept holding out that the police, the Attorney General and the Prime Minister will take action themselves.

“I kept pressuring them to take action, but when they didn’t I decided to take action myself,” he said. “It is the institutions, and not I, who waited too long. Do you know of any democracy in which the Opposition leader has to take such cases to court? I’m experiencing this now for the first ever time.”

In his press conference, Busuttil also confirmed his intention to stay on as a MP after he steps down as leader in September, even if his replacement is a non-MP who will therefore require a standing PN MP to give up their seat.