Labour condemns ‘dishonest and manipulative’ Busuttil

The Labour Party accused the Opposition leader of being selective when publishing abridged transcripts from the night of the Sheehan shooting incident.

The Labour Party accused Opposition leader Simon Busuttil of being selective when publishing transcripts of recordings from the night of the Sheehan shooting incident.

“It is clear that Busuttil had all the information in his hands but chose to remove the parts that didn’t suit him,” Labour said. “He has been caught out as a dishonest and manipulative leader”.

On Friday evening, the PN media published an abridged paraphrased re-enactment of a conversation between police constable Paul Sheehan, Acting Commissioner Ray Zammit and OPM spokesman Kurt Farrugia. Zammit was simultaneously in contact with Sheehan and Farrugia on two separate telephone lines, relaying information from Sheehan to Farrugia for the latter to publish a statement about the shooting incident.

However, unadulterated recordings published today revealed that Zammit had told Farrugia that “warning shots were fired”, indicating that false information in a government statement could have been relayed to Farrugia by the acting police commissioner.

“Since Busuttil has now been found to have left crucial parts out of the recordings, he needs to shoulder responsibility,” Labour said, echoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s words. “If he had come to a conclusion without having all the information in front of him, then he is an amateur leader who draws conclusions out of half-truths.”

Earlier today, Busuttil similarly criticised the government for being selective with what parts of the transcript to release.

“It’s unacceptable that the government only selected parts of the transcript to release,” Busuttil said in an interview on Radio 101. “If the government has the phone recordings in its possession, why didn’t they release them in full?”

He also said that the Prime Minister has resigned himself to removing Mallia and Zammit and is now focusing on protecting Farrugia. He repeated his call for Muscat to publish his mobile phone call-logs between 9:15pm and 11:15pm on the night of the incident.

“Two hours had passed between when Farrugia spoke to Zammit and when the government published the statement,” Busuttil said. “Is it possible that he did not speak to the Prime Minister during that time to tell him that he had heard one thing but would publish something else?”

Labour said that Busuttil was “hysterically trying to justify his actions” in today’s short interview.

“Instead of addressing the media as he has done everyday for the past fifteen days, he chose to speak to a journalist on a radio and attack everyone-from the media to individual people.”

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