Update 2 | PL hits out at Busuttil for defending Fenech Adami's 'lies'

Labour questions why Simon Busuttil has not taken action against his deputy leader's 'lies' about his closeness with the Gaffarena family. PN questions why Muscat has not taken any action against parliamentary secretary Michael Falzon and minister Carmelo Abela 

The Labour Party have criticised Opposition leader Simon Busuttil for refusing to take action against PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami in the wake of revelations that he had served as lawyer for the Gaffarena family.

“Instead of taking steps against Fenech Adami’s lies, Busuttil has stuck his neck out for his deputy leader,” the PL said in a statement. “This attitude has become synonymous with the negative Simon Busuttil. He claims that he only needs five seconds before deciding to remove anyone who errs, but he doesn’t take action against people he is responsible for.”

The PL argued that Fenech Adami had never declared his closeness with the Gaffarena family and that he had only admitted to knowing them by sight after stories appeared in the media.

“This is truly a case of talk being cheap, and Simon Busuttil has failed yet another credibility test.”

GWU newspaper It-Torca revealed on Sunday that Fenech Adami, as well as David Gonzi – son of former Nationalist Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi – had been legal counsel to Marco, Christopher and Johann Gaffarena between 2003 and 2004.

This flies in the face of a previous declaration by Fenech Adami himself, who had told journalists that he only knows Marco Gaffarena by sight.

However, Busuttil said that he saw absolutely no reason to take action against Fenech Adami for having done his job as a legal counsel several years before even being elected as an MP.

He argued that the previous Nationalist government had refused sanction Joe Gaffarena’s illegally-built petrol station in Qormi, and that MEPA had only granted him such a permit in 2014 under the new Labour government.

'Shameless Muscat has become Gaffarena's ally' - PN 

In a reaction, the PN said that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat expects Busuttil to take action Fenech Adami for having represented the Gaffarenas as a lawyer several years ago, when he himself has given them everything they desired off the public purse.

“Muscat granted Gaffarena a permit for his illegally-built petrol station that the previous government had refused to sanction,” the PN said in a statement. “He has not taken any action against parliamentary secretary Michael Falzpn, despite his personal involvement in the Old Mint scandal through which Gaffarena became a multi-millionaire. Neither has he taken any action against Home Affairs minister Carmelo Abela, who had lied in Parliament that the government had no intentions to purchase Palazzo Verdelin from Gaffarena.

“Muscat must truly have no shame to insult the PN about Gaffarena when he himself has become his ally. In only two years, Muscat has ended up leading the most corrupt government since the days of Mintoff and Lorry Sant.” 

In a reaction to the PN's statement, the PL said that Busuttil had failed to take action when Gozitan whistleblower Joe Cauchi approached the PN leader to reveal how the husband of former Gozo minister Giovanna Debono had misappropriated public funds. "Simon Busuttil fails to practice what he preaches," it said.

More in National