Details of Robert Abela’s consultancy services to Muscat ‘privileged and confidential’

PN MP David Thake’s request for information on Abela’s consultancy services to former prime minister Joseph Muscat deemed ‘imprudent and unethical’

Robert Abela was a legal consultant to former prime minister Joseph Muscat from June 2017 to January 2020
Robert Abela was a legal consultant to former prime minister Joseph Muscat from June 2017 to January 2020

A request by PN MP David Thake for the details of the consultancy services Robert Abela had provided to then prime minister Joseph Muscat has yielded no information, with this being labelled “privileged and confidential”.

Thake’s request, submitted through a parliamentary question, was for the Prime Minister to give an account of the advice he gave to his predecessor during the current legislature.

The Nationalist MP also asked for the subject matters upon which advice was given, what the actual advice was, and how much Abela had been paid.

Replying to the PQ on Tuesday, Abela said the advice he had given to Muscat and his Cabinet between June 2017 to January 2020 was “of a privileged and confidential nature”.

“Prudence and ethics dictate that such a parliamentary question is not even made, in view of the fact that it is asking for the revealing of advice which is precluded by law from being made public,” Abela said.

“This means that [Thake] is inviting the Prime Minister to break the law by way of the parliamentary question.”

Abela added that, as announced in June 2017 - when he was a government MP - he had renounced payment owed to him for legal consultancy services provided to prime minister Muscat and his Cabinet.

The Prime Minister said that that he had continued to receive no payment for consultancy services offered to Muscat until January 2020, when he took over the premiership.

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