Busuttil will hold Muscat ‘personally responsible’ for whistleblower’s safety

PN leader Simon Busuttil says alleged threats to the children of Libyan whisteblower in medical visas racket were 'akin to something from a Mafia movie'

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil interviewed on Radio 101
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil interviewed on Radio 101

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has said that he would hold Prime Minister Joseph Muscat “personally responsible” if something were to happen to the whistelblower in the alleged medical visas racket.

Speaking on Radio 101, the PN leader said it was incredulous and “akin to something from a Mafia movie” that Khaled Ben Nasan – a Libyan businessman turned whistelblower who had served as middleman between Neville Gafa and Libyan patients – had been threatened for the second time in a week.

Busuttil’s comments come in the wake of a report by the Malta Independent on Sunday which claimed that the Libyan whistleblower filed a police report after receiving an SMS which threatened his children if he were to send any information or present any files on the visa unit.

“Instead of being receiving more scrutiny, the whistleblower should be given more protection and the information he is providing should be seriously investigated … The threats are like something out of a Mafia movie,” Busuttil said.

The Libyan whistleblower had alleged that Neville Gafa, a health ministry official and a political appointee, had been running a medical visa racket charging Libyans thousands of euros to get into Malta with a medical visa. Police investigations have cleared Gafa of masterminding the racket, but the PN leader has insisted that investigations should be re-opened on the strength of new evidence.

The Opposition leader called on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and Attorney general Peter Grech – the latter of whom was appointed in 2010 by the previous Nationalist administration – to offer more protection to Ben Nasan.

“If anything had to happen to Ben Nasan or his children, I will hold them [the prime minister, police commissioner and Attorney General] personally responsible,” Busuttil rallied.

Busuttil – who last week accused the prime minister of having knowledge of the medical visa racket before it was flagged to the police – also reiterated his claims that there are “clear links between corruption and Castille.”

He also raised the potential security concerns for Malta, arguing that there was no way of knowing that those Libyans granted a medical visa were in fact required.

Turning his attention on Air Malta, Busuttil accused the prime minister of betraying the workers of Malta’s national airline after he “went behind their back and sold the airline, consequently leading to Malta losing control.”

The Opposition leader insisted that it not true that the only solution for the ailing national airline is for it to be sold to “foreigners”, suggesting instead that the government should sell shares to local investors as this would ensure that the airline remains under the control of the Maltese.

Busuttil said he did not want the electorate to view the Nationalist Party as the “lesser of two evils” and refuted claims that both political parties were cut from the same cloth, arguing instead that the PN was the best choice for the country,

“The PN is not there to criticise only, but it wants to push Malta in the right direction,” he said.

The PN leader also hit out at the government for abandoning its socialist roots, claiming that the average workers and those who were struggling to make ends meet had been abandoned in favour of “millionaires”.