[WATCH] Grech admits closing down PN club after being denied entry during Ħamrun feast

Bernard Grech condemns violence against PN supporter at party’s Hamrun club in first comments since August incident when he was denied entry

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech confirmed that the decision to close the Nationalist Party’s club in Ħamrun was because the owner did not allow him entry during the St. Catejan feast.

“We took the action to close it because the PN club should be accessible to everyone, especially the leader of the PN,” Grech said on Tuesday.

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech was denied entry to the party's club during the Ħamrun feast in August.

The incident resulted in party supporter Noel Mifsud Bonnici getting injured, with his wife claiming he was ‘severely beaten’ during the incident.

In court, Noel Mifsud Bonnici recounted that he was the fourth or fifth person to enter the club with Grech.

“We encountered the barman, Manuel, who prevented us from entering because we had Bernard Grech with us. He shouted at Grech, telling him that he hadn’t been there in two years... Grech left the club feeling humiliated,” Mifsud Bonnici explained.

Grech addressed the incident for the first time since then, in an interview with the theme ‘A Better Life for Our Country.’

Responding to ONE News' Samuel Lucas' cheeky question, "How was the Ħamrun feast?" Grech immediatelycondemned all forms of violence.

"I condemn all forms of violence, both verbal and even physical," Grech stated.

Grech initially recounted his visit to the Ħamrun feast, describing it as an enjoyable opportunity to engage with people and celebrate the vibrant local culture.

However, he quickly shifted to a somber note, expressing regret over the incident that occurred during the festivities.

When asked by Lucas why he continued with his activities after learning that Mifsud Bonnici was injured, Grech explained how he rushed to Noel's side upon realising the gravity of the situation.

He praised the paramedics for their swift response and expressed gratitude for Noel's dedication to both him and the country.

"He told me he couldn't get up," Grech said, “and you still went to take pictures at the band club,” Samuel Lucas interrupted.

Brushing aside the question, Grech stated that his words would not have helped Noel at the time, but paramedics would.

"I don't take selfies or engage in photo politics, like Robert Abela does," Grech asserted.

Grech also denied that his presence at the feast may have incited the altercation, explaining that such incidents can occur in any social environment and should not be attributed to his political role.

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech
Opposition Leader Bernard Grech

Benefits fraud scandal: PN knew of the benefits fraud scandal several weeks ago

In reference to a recent MaltaToday news report, Bernard Grech did not deny that the Nationalist Party had prior knowledge of the benefits fraud scandal several weeks ago.

"We became aware of this situation a few weeks ago—two years after Robert Abela first learned of it and took no action," Grech asserted.

When asked if the PN would grant amnesty to individuals involved in the scandal in exchange for their cooperation with authorities, Grech emphasised that "the rule of law must be applied consistently to all citizens."

He argued that those implicated in the fraud scheme were willing to repay the wrongfully obtained funds but insisted that justice should prevail against those who orchestrated this "criminal system."

Expanding on the issue, the Opposition leader pointed out that while the government was pursuing legal action against individuals who had fraudulently received approximately €450 in monthly benefits they were not entitled to, there was no corresponding action taken against those who had allegedly misappropriated €400 million in the hospital deal.

At one point, when the journalist asked for assurance that no PN MP was involved in the benefits scandal, Grech stood up and asked the journalist to accompany him to the police station if he had any proof.

The opposition leader raised his voice and gesticulated towards the journalist as supporters stood up and applauded.