[WATCH] Helena Dalli's comment on Konrad Mizzi's Panama saga was 'legitimate', Prime Minister says

'I think everyone would do things differently in their lives given a second chance,' Joseph Muscat says as he praises Helena Dalli's performance in the European Parliament

Joseph Muscat says 'everyone would do things differently... given another chance'
Joseph Muscat says 'everyone would do things differently... given another chance'
Joseph Muscat applauds Helena Dalli's performance in the European Parliament

Helena Dalli's comments, during her grilling by MEPs, that she would have acted "totally differently" to Konrad Mizzi in the Panama Papers case was a "legitimate" opinion, Joseph Muscat said.

Muscat said that, given a second chance to do things in life, everyone would act differently than they originally did.

Asked by MaltaToday whether he agreed that Mizzi should have done things differently when it came to the revelations in the Panama Papers, Muscat said that he would prefer not to comment on the actions of others.

"I think Helena Dalli gave a very good performance. Hers was a legitimate comment. I think everyone would do things differently in their lives if they had another chance. I'm very happy with what she said and the way she acted," Muscat said.

"Everyone has their own personal opinion [on the matter]. I can comment only on myself not on others... I thank Helena for her performance, I think it was very good," Muscat said, when taking questions on the fringes of a seminar on fostering held on Friday morning.

READ ALSO: Helena Dalli performs well at the hands of MEPs

Mizzi's name had featured in the Panama Papers, alongside that of the Prime Minister's chief of staff Keith Schembri, after both opened companies in Panama after the 2013 election.

During her grilling at the hands of MEPs on Wednesday, Dalli said she disagreed with Mizzi's actions in relation to Panama Papers, and would have done things differently. Along with the rest of the Labour Party parliamentary group, Dalli had voted against a motion of no confidence in Mizzi, tabled in Parliament by then independent MP Marlene Farrugia in 2016.

READ ALSO: Konrad Mizzi delivers public apology: 'I apologise to everyone'

Asked why Dalli had spoken out the way she did on Mizzi in the European Parliament but had supported the Tourism Minister back when the scandal connected with his opening of the Hearnville company in Panama in 2016 came to light, the Prime Minister skirted the question.

He instead made a reference to Tonio Borg, saying the former PN foreign affairs minister had no issue being appointed European Commissioner for an area related to abortion rights, but had in Malta never made comments that suggested he agreed with abortion.

"You might be referring to Tonio Borg when he had said before the European Parliament that he had no issue to be a Commissioner in an area connected with abortion, when he never said anything of the sort in Malta," Muscat said.

Muscat went on to make reference to a question posed to Dalli during the grilling by Nationalist MEP David Casa, in reference to corruption allegations on Mizzi and chief of staff Keith Schembri. This, he said, showed the PN had come out against Dalli, although its leader Adrian Delia had said the party would support her nomination.

"This [attitude] confirms how the PN says one thing and does another. During the hearing the PN was against Helena Dalli, although Delia said he would be in favour of her nomination," Muscat said.

On Thursday, Mizzi told Times of Malta that "with the benefit of hindsight" he would have done things differently and refrained from opening the company in Panama.

READ ALSO: Panama Papers | Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri wanted to open Dubai bank account

In a one-sentence reaction, the Nationalist Party said on Friday that "the only thing Konrad Mizzi regrets is getting caught".