Steward CEO told Robert Abela the Vitals tender was fraudulent in 2021 – Adrian Delia

Nationalist MP Adrian Delia tables a 14-page letter in Parliament from 2021 signed by Steward CEO Armin Ernst telling Abela that there are clear indications that the concession to VGH was fraudulent

Steward CEO Armin Ernst
Steward CEO Armin Ernst

A 14-page letter signed by the Steward Healthcare CEO Armin Ernst in 2021, and addressed to the Prime Minister and State Advocate, shows that he suspected that the concession to VGH to operate three local hospitals was fraudulent.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Adrian Delia claimed that Prime Minister Robert Abela knew that the hospitals’ deal was fraudulent since at least 2021, but continued to defend it.

“It’s not true that Abela found out about the fraud when the judgement was handed down last month,” he said. “He knew there was fraud since at least September 2021. Yet despite knowing that these contracts were vitiated, he continued defending the deal.”

He tabled eight different documents in Parliament, including the letter signed by Ernst and addressed to Abela and State Advocate Christopher Soler.

“Recent evidence suggests that the granting of the concession to VGH was, to say the least, improper,” Delia quoted from the letter. “It is not the purpose of this letter to consider and conclude if the award was fraudulent (though there are clear indications that this is the case).”

Ernst adds in his letter that the company is aware of criminal investigation proceedings that are underway, and that Steward Malta had its offices searched by the police.

Delia pointed out that his court case had not been decided back then, “and despite this letter, Abela continued to defend the deal”.

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