Busuttil says PM's case against Gaffarena ‘designed to be lost’

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil says NAO report into Gaffarena expropriation deal was a Mafia story

The Prime Minister’s court case against Marco Gaffarena to recoup the lands transferred in the expropriation of a palazzo in Old Mint Street, Valletta, was designed to be lost, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said this morning.

Insisting that the PN is the only party that can offer honest politics and reveal the truth, the Opposition leader claimed that under Labour’s watch, corruption had become the order of the day, and people were being taken for a ride.

The PN leader argued that the NAO report into the expropriation deal of Marco Gaffarena – which he described as being tantamount to a “mafia story” - had delivered a huge blow to the Prime Minister and confirmed that the government is facing a corruption crisis.

The PN leader also argued that Falzon’s resignation and the subsequent case against Marco Gaffarena and his wife Josielle to recoup the lands transferred was all an “act” in an attempt to restore the public’s faith in the government.

However, Busuttil insisted that the case was taking people for a ride as it was designed to be lost due to its legal flaws.

“The court is being asked to revoke all transfers of land on the basis of a mistake. The case will be lost because the court will not reverse the decision due to a mistake,” he said.

Busuttil also noted that the case was also instituted against the Government Property Division, which falls under Joseph Muscat’s direct portfolio; effectively meaning that Muscat instituted a case against himself.

The Opposition leader also argued that Muscat had begrudgingly accepted Falzon’s resignation as the NAO report left him with no other option. In addition he called on Muscat to shoulder his political responsibility as the Government Property Division falls under his direct portfolio.

“Joseph Muscat is responsible for the anything goes culture. It is obvious that there is corruption in this case?” he asked.

He also questioned the police’s investigation into the Gaffarena scandal, arguing that information had been leaked about the case back in May 2015 yet investigations were about to start. The truth, he said, is that “Gaffarena has the Lands Department, Castille, and the Police in his hands.”

Notwithstanding the fact that former PN minister Giovanna Debono retained her parliamentary seat in Parliament after her husband was accused of fraud and misappropriation of public funds in May, Busuttil questioned took the now-Labour backbencher Michael Falzon to task for still occupying his seat in parliament and the PL parliamentary group.