Updated | Bezzina allegations: Busuttil urges media to wait for libel case outcome

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil agrees that inquiry is published in full • AD calls for publication of inquiry report

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has urged the media to wait for the outcome of a libel case that Nationalist MP Toni Bezzina instituted against the Labour media.

In fresh reports over allegations that Bezzina - a former government architect, then Resources Ministry - had engaged workers from the works department to carry out maintenance works on the PN club in Zurrieq using government-owned materials, the Labour media this week said that three workers had been forced to sign a false declaration.

The declaration, according to ONE TV, read that they had carried out the works voluntarily.

Bezzina, who has already sued the Labour media for defamation on the same case, categorically denied that he had forced the workers to make a false declaration.

Simon Busuttil is now insisting that one should wait for the outcome of the libel cases, "Toni Bezzina has repeatedly denied the reports and said they were defamatory. This case goes back to a number of years and he sued for libel. Let us now wait for the conclusion of the case."

Asked whether he agreed that an inquiry ordered by the ministry in 2012 should be published, Busuttil said, "yes, of course". The report of an internal inquiry tasked with establishing the facts surrounding the allegations was never published by the previous administration.

In a statement, Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Arnold Cassola said the government should publish the full report.

“Kullhadd and L-Orizzont have brought up serious allegations against Bezzina while the same Bezzina has said that the allegations made are unfounded and untruthful,” Cassola sound. 

“Since the two newspapers have only quoted selectively from the inquiry which supposedly has been kept secret, we call on the government and on the two newspapers to publish the whole contents of the enquiry. It is only through full transparency that one can get to know the real truth.”

The PN leader said the government had started a habit of throwing mud against the Opposition every time it found itself against a wall. "Labour has been in government for two years: what is it doing with these allegations? Has it taken steps against these wrongdoings? It simply uses them to throw mud because it wants to shut the Opposition up".

Arguing that this "mudslinging" will not stop the Opposition, Busuttil said the PN will continue pressuring the government to reduce the price of fuel.

He said that what was really "scandalous" was the 30 properties taken over the Labour Party to serve as their clubs.

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