VGH hospitals appeal will not be heard by Judge Consuelo Scerri Herrera

Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera abstains from hearing the appeal filed by ministers Chris Cardona, Konrad Mizzi and Edward Scicluna to a court decision to hold an inquiry into their involvement in the hospitals privatisation deal

Consuelo Scerri Herrera
Consuelo Scerri Herrera

Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera has abstained from hearing the urgent appeal filed by three ministers last week with regards to the privatisation deal for three state hospitals.

She had been due to hear the appeal filed by ministers Chris Cardona, Konrad Mizzi and Edward Scicluna to a court decision to hold an inquiry into their involvement in the privatisation deal.

The appeal was filed last week, one day before Magistrate Doreen Clarke declared that there were sufficient grounds for the three ministers to be investigated.

Madam justice Scerri Herrera is Environment Minister José Herrera’s sister. The ministers had previously argued that the cabinet was collectively responsible for the hospital privatisation deal.

In 2015, Vitals Global Healthcare were given a 30-year concession to run the St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo hospitals. The concession, worth billions, was eventually extended to span 99 years.

Vitals had later sold the concession to US healthcare provider Steward Health Care in 2018.

The deal, which sparked outcry when made public, was referred to the National Audit Office for investigation. Civil society group Repubblika had also alleged criminal complicity in the transfer of the hospitals by the three ministers and Ivan Vassallo, owner of a medical supplies firm.

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