Labour wants apology over Attorney General row • ‘It’s a lie’, says Opposition leader

Opposition leader criticised the court case opened against the Gaffarenas as having been designed ‘to be lost’ • On Twitter, Busuttil says Labour ‘fabricated a lie’

Attorney General Peter Grech (left).
Attorney General Peter Grech (left).

Moments after the Labour Party issued a statement calling on Opposition leader Simon Busuttil to apologise to the Attorney General for claiming a court action to recoup public land had been compromised from the start, Busuttil took to Twitter accusing the PL of “fabricating a lie”.

In Gozo on Sunday morning, the PN leader described the court case opened against Marco Gaffarena to recoup the public lands he was transferred as compensation for the expropriation of a 50% ownership in a Valletta palazzo, as having been “designed to be lost”.

Busuttil dubbed the events that led to the resignation of Michael Falzon from parliamentary secretary for lands as having been the work of a “Mafia from Castille”.

On Sunday he said that the court case to recover the lands that were under-valued in price in exchange for the over-valued 50% share in 36, Old Mint Street as having “legal flaws”.

But in a statement, the Labour Party said Busuttil should apologise to the Attorney General, stating that his office enjoyed national respect. “Such discourse is symptomatic of the Opposition leader’s lack of respect for any institution,” the PL said.

In a reaction, Busuttil tweeted: “This is a lie. First they lie about what I said, then they issue a statement attacking me for the lie they invented.”

The PN reiterated that Busuttil never referred to the Attorney General while Labour insisted that, unless Busuttil withdrew his statements on the court case, then he was referring to the AG. "It was the AG who wrote and worked on the court case he filed in court on behalf of the government and the Prime Minister," the PL replied.

The PN accused the government of fabricating lies in an attempt to cover up for the "corruption crisis".

The government yesterday said that in his report on the Gaffarena expropriation, the Auditor General had agreed with the position taken by the Attorney General, following consultation with other lawyers, to recoup the lands transferred. The “special” court case was filed by the Prime Minister - in his capacity as MP - and the Attorney General against Marco and Josielle Gaffarena, the Lands Commissioner and the Lands Registry.

The Office of Attorney General is established in terms of the Constitution, whereby the Attorney General is appointed by the President acting on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Attorney General Peter Grech, who is also the public prosecutor and serves as an advisor to the government, was appointed in 2013.

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