[WATCH] Egrant report publication a question of 'when' not 'if', Joseph Muscat insists

The Prime Minister said the Attorney General had warned against publishing the Egrant report now, since this could disrupt investigations which started as a result of the inquiry's conclusions

Joseph Muscat was addressing supporters during a Labour Party event in Mosta
Joseph Muscat was addressing supporters during a Labour Party event in Mosta

The publication of the full report into the Egrant inquiry revolves around the issue of when not if it will be published, the Prime Minister said.

Joseph Muscat reiterated that he wanted the report to be published, but that the Attorney General had warned that, if it is be published now, those being investigated as a result of the inquiry's conclusions would be placed at an advantage, and that investigators would have their work disrupted.

Muscat, who was addressing supporters at a Labour Party event in Mosta on Sunday morning, said that Nationalist Party members had this week once again claimed they had no regrets "about the Egrant lie they conjured up regarding my wife and myself two years ago", and that, while he didn't expect that they say sorry to him for the lie, they on the other hand should be apologising to the Maltese people.

He noted that on 14 May, the court would be deciding on Opposition leader Adrian Delia's legal bid to be given a copy of the full report

"The court will next week be making a decision [on Adrian Delia's demands for a copy of the Egrant report]. I want to publish the report, but I also follow the Attorney General's advice. The issue is not whether to publish the full report, but when. The AG is saying that if the report is published now, those who have to be, and are being investigated, will be put at an advantage, as it would disrupt the investigators in this regard," he said.

Muscat went on to make reference to Delia's claims that his (Delia's) signature was falsified in documents being investigated by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, saying that, when the Opposition leader was asked by journalists to publish the document with the alleged fake signatures, he had refused.

"Journalists asked him to publish the document containing the counterfeit signatures, but he refused, saying it would prejudice investigations. So he doesn't want his document to be published, but then, when it comes to the Egrant inquiry, he doesn't care if investigations are prejudiced by the publication of the full report."

Malta's institutions will bring those behind Egrant lie to justice

The Prime Minister said that he would never forget driving past a billboard depicting his wife and him behind bars, and his daughter asking what would happen to her if her parents were imprisoned.

He said he wished that those who had made up the lie be brought to justice, but that he would not be pushing for this himself, instead leaving it to the country's institutions to their job.

"I wish that justice be done with those people who made up the [Egrant] lie and brought on a general election. But I won't push for this, because I know where my role as a Prime Minister stops, so I will let the institutions do their job," he said.

"But on 25 May I will answer those who want to resurrect the Egrant lie and who say they don't regret it. And I invite you to give them an answer too."

Labour created more jobs in five years than Nationalists did in 25

Muscat went over various projects and achievements of the government since being elected in 2013, including how it had reduced unemployment and the number of people in poverty.

"In 25 years, from 1987 to 2012, the PN created 56,000," he said, "In six years, we created 66,000 jobs. And in just five years, we had surpassed the number of jobs created by the Nationalists in 25 years."

When it came to the issue of poverty, Muscat said his government had inherited from the previous administration a situation where 43,000 Maltese people "couldn't afford to live a decent life".

"Now three out of four of these people are no longer in poverty," he highlighted, "But there still remain 14,000 persons living in unacceptable situations. We don't hide this fact, but instead make it one of our priorities to ensure that not even a single person is left who is in a state of poverty."

€2 million investment to move young people out of St Vincent de Paul

Muscat also touched on the fact that a number of relatively young people with full-time care needs were currently being housed at the St Vincent de Paul residence for the elderly.

This, he said, wasn't the adequate place for them to be, which is why the government would be investing an initial €2 million to move them to a different building within the same complex, where their needs could be better catered for, and where they could interact with others their age, possibly eventually being able to move on and live independently.

"These young and middle-aged persons' place isn't at St Vincent de Paul. If we just leave them there, some would end up spending another 50 years at the home. So we are investing €2 million now, and as many hundreds of thousand euro as is necessary in the future, to take them out of San Vincenz and house them in a different place within the same complex, offering them a new environment appropriate for their age."

"Right now they are spending their lives either in bed or near a bed. We will remove them from there, provide for them an environment where they can interact with people their ages, and help and encourage them, so, if possible, they can live independently and join the community," he added.

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