[WATCH] Deflecting questions, Simon Busuttil calls CapitalOne investigative report ‘a fabrication’

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil launches attack against MaltaToday claiming that an investigative report was ‘a fabrication’

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil
Simon Busuttil deflects questions on CapitalOne investigation

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil is refusing to answer directly questions on an investigative report carried out by MaltaToday in collaboration with freelance journalist freelance journalist Mark Hollingsworth, insisting that the report is “a total fabrication”.

The report has led to the launch of an independent inquiry, led by retired judges Joseph Camilleri, Lawrence Quintano and Philip Sciberras. It revolves around a money laundering investigation that was never pursued by the Maltese police, ostensibly when the name of PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami cropped up.

As the time parliamentary assistant for home affairs, Fenech Adami was one of the directors of a fiduciary services company, with one of its clients being investigated by the Dutch police.

Sources privy to the Dutch investigation have expressed frustration that not all evidence connected to banking transactions were passed on to them by the Maltese police.

EXPLAINER • The CapitalOne investigation and Beppe Fenech Adami

Appearing flabbergasted when questioned whether Fenech Adami should suspend himself as deputy leader pending the inquiry, Busuttil asked: “Are you being serious?”

“This is a complete fabrication from beginning to end,” the leader of the Opposition said, as he rubbished off the report as having been “made up by a desperate government”.

Ignoring the question, Busuttil went on to claim that this was “a desperate attempt” to deviate attention from the arrival of the LNG tanker – which will be supplying fuel to the new gas-power station as pledged in the electoral manifesto.

“This tanker is the monument of corruption of the Labour government,” Busuttil said, sarcastically noting that the story was “coincidentally” carried on the same day the tanker arrived and bunkered overnight at Hurd’s Bank.

Busuttil however refused to comment on the ‘coincidence’ that the police investigation was marked as ‘bring up in three months’ in January 2013, during the same time that Fenech Adami was responsible of home affairs and a heated general election was underway in Malta.

Inquiry is ‘institutional’

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat drew differences between the inquiry that has been launched and the revelations surrounding Panama Papers and SwissLeaks.

Asked by MaltaToday why he hasn’t asked for an inquiry into the latter, Muscat said the two issues were separate.

“[Panama Papers] is a political issue and there is a clear difference between the two cases,” he said.

Muscat argued that the report and the “clear allegations” had raised serious questions over the country’s institutions.

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