‘Stop playing the Egrant victim card’, Simon Busuttil tells Prime Minister

Minutes after the court ruled against a request for the publication of the full Egrant inquiry report, former Nationalist leader Simon Busuttil fires a volley at Joseph Muscat

Simon Busuttil had made the Egrant allegation central to the PN's election campaign in 2017
Simon Busuttil had made the Egrant allegation central to the PN's election campaign in 2017

The Prime Minister does not believe owning a Panama company is wrong and he should “stop playing the Egrant victim card”, Simon Busuttil said.

The former Nationalist Party leader was reacting to the constitutional court’s ruling on Tuesday denying Adrian Delia access to the full Egrant inquiry report.

It is no secret that there is no love lost between Busuttil and Muscat.

On Twitter, Busuttil said that if Muscat believed owning a Panama company was wrong he would have fired his closest Cabinet members, “and left with them”.

“Just publish the report and let the people decide,” Busuttil insisted.

An inquiry had ruled out that Panama company Egrant belonged to Muscat’s wife, Michelle. It also found that signatures on what were supposed to be key documents proving the link had been forged.

The 50-page conclusion of the inquiry was published last summer but the Attorney General has so far turned down requests for the publication of the voluminous report despite the Prime Minister insisting he wanted the full report out.

Busuttil’s tweet elicited a stiff reaction from government functionaries in the Office of the Prime Minister, who described the former Opposition leader as a “bitter person”.

In the 2017 election, Busuttil made the Egrant saga a battle cry for the PN after Daphne Caruana Galizia first published the accusation.

Muscat denied the allegations and asked for a magisterial inquiry into the accusations, promising to leave politics if it found a shard of evidence linking him and his wife to Egrant.

The Prime Minister has been criticised by Delia for failing to apply the same yardstick to his close allies, Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, who opened companies in Panama at the same time as Egrant.

The ultimate beneficial owner of Egrant never emerged in the Panama Papers because the person was communicated via a Skype call.

Schembri and Mizzi have always denied wrongdoing.

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