[WATCH] Joseph Muscat sheds tears of relief after 15-month ordeal

In a rare moment of intense emotion that underscored the pain Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle had to endure for the past 15 months, the Prime Minister shed tears of relief

Joseph Muscat received an applause of encouragement from his MPs and ministers after breaking down during the Egrant inquiry press conference
Joseph Muscat received an applause of encouragement from his MPs and ministers after breaking down during the Egrant inquiry press conference
Joseph Muscat shed tears has he spoke of the suffering the Egrant saga brought to his family

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s voice broke as he shed tears when recalling the impact the Egrant saga had on his family as he read out the findings of the inquiry.

It was a rare moment of intense emotion that underscored the pain Muscat and his wife Michelle had to endure for the past 15 months.

Egrant was “a fantastical invention,” Muscat said of the allegations when interviewed earlier this year for a book commemorating his 10 years at Labour’s helm.

In the book, he recalled the angst of seeing his two young daughters perturbed by a banner of their parents behind bars.

He recounted how one evening while returning home with his family, he caught his daughters through the car’s rear-view mirror looking at a banner strung up by the Nationalist Party club in Mosta.

READ ALSO: Egrant | Magistrate says Panama company not Muscat’s, PM calls for Busuttil’s resignation

Muscat told his interviewer that back at home his twin daughters went up to him and asked whether they would be staying with their grandmother if both their parents went to prison.

“At that point in time, everything takes on a different dimension. Some of the decisions I took in that situation, were based on those moments,” Muscat said, admitting the whole saga was a difficult time for him.

He also described the “surreal moment” when then Opposition leader Simon Busuttil gave a televised press conference the night the Egrant saga developed.

“Egrant was a pure invention. I had no papers to show because it was simply not true. This worried and hurt me a lot… I only had my word to go by,” Muscat told his interviewer, radio host and academic Andrew Azzopardi.

In an interview for the same book, Michelle Muscat said the one thing she felt bad about was that their friends were dragged into the Egrant story unnecessarily. “They even invented a story about how my friend in New York received money,” she said.

The reference was to Michelle Buttigieg, a former business partner of Michelle Muscat, who was appointed as Malta Tourism Authority representative in New York.

Buttigieg was also supposed to have received funds from the sister of Pilatus Bank owner Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, something disproven by the inquiry.

The Muscats have never wavered in their denial of wrongdoing when faced with the Egrant saga.

Unlike other occasions when asked about the Panama companies of close associates Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, there was never a hint of uncertainty in Muscat’s voice when talking about Egrant.

His reaction was believable, even if the self-assuredness hid the pain the couple had to endure for the past 15 months while the magistrate carried out a thorough investigation.

It is no wonder that Muscat broke down during the press conference. His were tears of relief that the suffering his children and closest had to endure because of a blatant lie could find closure.

A weight has been lifted off the Muscats and possibly off the country, which can finally seek closure on the Egrant saga.

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