Updated | 'Deleted police report was not in line with PM's version of events' - Busuttil

Nationalist Party leader proposes independent government institutions and end to nepotism and clientelism, critcises 'shelving' of proposed Commissioner's Office to monitor politicans' behaviour • Labour slams Busuttil's 'political hypocrisy'

PN leader Simon Busuttil Photo: Chris Mangion
PN leader Simon Busuttil Photo: Chris Mangion
PN leader Simon Busuttil holds a copy of MaltaToday. Photo: PN
PN leader Simon Busuttil holds a copy of MaltaToday. Photo: PN
PN leader Simon Busuttil addressing the party's general council. Photo: Chris Mangion
PN leader Simon Busuttil addressing the party's general council. Photo: Chris Mangion

A police report of details into the arrest of Scotsman Stephen Smith was deleted because it gave a conflicting version of events to what Prime Minister Joseph Muscat wanted the people to hear, PN leader Simon Busuttil said.

Sources told MaltaToday that a third party had logged into the Police Incident Reporting System to delete the part in Smith’s arrest report that detailed how he had been found with high blood-alcohol levels.

“Muscat has introduced a culture that everybody can do whatever they like without any repercussions,” Busuttil told the PN general council entitled "Honest Politics". “Will somebody please take some political responsibility?”

It is the latest twist in the ongoing saga whereby Smith’s vehicle was shot at and hit by the security deriver of Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia who ahs since been charged with attempted murder. In an initial press release, the government claimed that it was a ‘hit-and-run’ incident and that the driver, Paul Sheehan, had fired two “warning shots” in the air.

Separately, the Times of Malta reported that bullet casings were removed from the crime scene before forensic officers could arrive, while PN media organ Il-Mument reported that the Prime Minister’s spokesman Kurt Farrugia had approved the original press release.

“We presented a motion of no-confidence against Mallia because the Prime Minister has not made him shoulder his political responsibility,” Busuttil said. “We are aware that the Labour Party has a very strong majority in the House, but we will still make Parliament debate this incident to try and find out what happened.”

Busuttil spent a great deal of his speech criticising Joseph Muscat for handed out extravagant salaries to Labour backbenchers such as Silvio Schembri and Carmelo Abela and for sweeping controversies surrounding Ministers Chris Cardona, Helena Dalli, and Joe Mizzi and MP Luciano Busuttil under the carpet.

“Muscat failed in his pre-electoral promises of meritocracy, accountability and ‘Malta taghna lkoll’,” Busuttil said. “His credibility is in freefall and people no longer trust him as they once used to.”

Busuttil rips into MEPA and proposes independent government institutions

Busuttil proposed that government institutions become independent. “Everybody knows that MEPA is not independent,” Busuttil said, citing its appropval the mooring of a gas tanker in Marsaxklokk bay and its recent claim that no construction works have taken place on Helena Dalli’s farmhouse since 2012. 

“The media caught workers on the farmhouse and everyone saw it,” Busuttil said. “Perhaps MEPA should get their eyesight checked out.”

 He also proposed an end to clientelism and nepotism and criticised the government for having “shelved” an Opposition motion to set up a Commissioner’s Office within Parliament to monitor politicians’ behaviour for a year. 
“However, we don’t want to win the elections because the Labour Party is dishonest but because the Nationalist Party is honest,” Busuttil said. “We want our country to return to normality.”
Labour- ‘Busuttil not credible to speak about honest politics’

In a reaction, the Labour Party said that Busuttil has no credibility to talk about the need for honest politic.

“Busuttil lost a golden opportunity today to show that he truly believes in what he speaks about and tell his friends in the shadow Cabinet to return the €500 salary increase that they gave themselves in the previous administration,” the PL said in a statement.

With regard the shooting incident, they criticised Busuttil for condemning Mallia rather than waiting for the inquiry’s results.

“At the same time, Busuttil is defending George Pullicino and saying that we have to wait for the results of investigations into a case where millions of euro are involved,” Labour said. “That is political hypocrisy at its best.”

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