PN accuses Muscat of lying, Labour says Busuttil is ‘covering for’ Giovanna Debono

Nationalist Party accuses Muscat of sitting on Gozo free construction case for several months, says whistleblower himself informed Gozo minister Anton Refalo of case months before

 Anthony Debono, the husband of former minister Giovanna Debono, had a position of responsibility in Gozo ministry
Anthony Debono, the husband of former minister Giovanna Debono, had a position of responsibility in Gozo ministry

The Nationalist Party has this afternoon accused Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of lying on the Gozo free construction case, insisting that Muscat knew about the case for several months.

Earlier today, PN leader Simon Busuttil made no mention of the case during the party’s political activity in Mosta, but in a statement this afternoon, the Nationalist Party insisted that it was not true that Gozo minister Anton Refalo learnt about the case in November.

On Sunday, MaltaToday revealed how Gozo minister Anton Refalo was aware of a whistleblower’s claims of being commissioned to carry out free construction works for Gozo constituents. While confirming Chris Said’s claims that the whistleblower’s claims were being tackled, Refalo insisted that after the contractor spoke to him in November 2014, he lost no time to ask that the claims be looked into.

Read More: Whistleblower’s detailed email to Said about ‘work for votes’

“That was in November and the case today is in the hands of the police and may lead to the first whistleblower case according to the legislation enacted by the Labour government,” Refalo said.

However, the PN insisted that it was not true that Refalo learnt about the case in November.

“This is not true because it was the whistleblower himself who last year said that he had informed the minister of everything several months before. Even if this were true, why did Anton Refalo not go to the police sooner?” the PN argued.

The PN also insisted that even if Refalo’s claims were to be true, Muscat is still lying because the police started to investigate on March 8 – a day after MaltaToday broke the story, and “five months after Refalo claimed he learnt about it.”

The PN said it is now clear that Muscat lied when he said the government learnt about the case from MaltaToday.

Meanwhile, on its part, the Labour Party accused Simon Busuttil and Chris Said of “covering for” Giovanna Debono, arguing that the PN concealed information to protect the former Gozo minister.

Earlier, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat also questioned why Chris Said did not go to the police with this information, and insisted that the police can go ahead with their investigations because “the government had nothing to hide.”

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