Abela won’t comment on calls by Muscat for leaks about police search to be investigated

Prime Minister Robert Abela on Muscat complaints in Facebook livestream: ‘everyone has the right to their own legal defence’ 

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela has refused to comment on calls by former prime minister Joseph Muscat to investigate leaks surrounding a raid at his Burmarrad property. 

“It is not my remit to get into what he said – everyone has the right to their own legal defence, and it is not right for a prime minister to enter into such matters,” he said. 

The PM was announcing new tax rebate cheques that will be disseminated to Maltese households in the coming months. 

Former PM Joseph Muscat took to Facebook on Saturday to call for investigations into leaks connected with a magisterial inquiry on the Vitals Global Healthcare concession.

Muscat denied that he expected to be treated differently but said he did not want to be treated “unjustly for being Joseph Muscat” as part of a politically vindictive effort against him.

READ MORE: Police search Joseph Muscat’s Burmarrad home as part of Vitals probe

Asked on the issue, Abela blamed the Opposition and Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi. 

“The irony is that the Opposition leader claimed I sent the police round to Muscat and then claimed I could have prevented that search. It shows the Opposition’s puerility... which uses the institutions for partisan matters,” he said. 

Follow-up questions to give his reaction, given his role as PM and his legal background, were left unanswered. 

READ ALSO:  Michelle Muscat mum on police raid at her home

The PM also confirmed information first published by MaltaToday that Muscat’s Sa Maison office, which is government property, is part of his severance package following his resignation in 2019. 

On further details related to Muscat’s severance package, Abela said details were already made public following a Freedom of Information request by the media. 

Asked about the general election, Abela reiterated previous statements that it would be over by June. 

Standards Commissioner 

After reports that the Standards Commissioner George Hyzler will be nominated to the European Court of Auditors, Abela played down claims the move was aimed at “getting rid of him.”

The PM said he had the prerequisites for the job. “The commissioner’s job is not down to the individual, but the office he represents.”
“His five-year tenure was also coming to an end, and so it was a natural process,” Abela said.