[WATCH] Government no longer legitimate after Keith Schembri court saga - Delia

Nationalist leader Adrian Delia says Keith Schembri’s court saga this week confirms corruption is in the government’s intrinsic nature

Adrian Delia was speaking during a PN event on Sunday
Adrian Delia was speaking during a PN event on Sunday

Keith Schembri’s refusal to answer questions in court in connection with the 17 Black Dubai company proved that corruption was in the Labour’s government’s intrinsic nature, Adrian Delia said.

The Nationalist Party leader said that, following the events which transpired in court on Monday, which saw Schembri drop a libel suit against Simon Busuttil to avoid answering questions in court about 17 Black, the government was no longer legitimate.

He said that his party would only stop talking about corruption when it ended, but that under the current government, corruption would never stop happening.

Delia, who was speaking during a PN event in Sliema on Sunday, noted that, despite Joseph Muscat’s major electoral and parliamentary advantage, he still didn’t have the power to dismiss Schembri.

His address today marks a return to Sunday speeches after a months-long hiatus.

“Why does he not have this power? Who is leading, the Prime Minister or Keith Schembri, who is corrupt, broke the law and laundered money?” he asked.

“Note the date - 11 November, 11/11 - a very important date in our country’s history. From this date, the government lost its legitimacy. It’s no longer a legitimate government,” he said.

Delia rejected claims by Joseph Muscat that Schembri’s ceding of the libel suit against Busuttil was comparable to his (Delia’s) dropping of defamation cases against Daphne Caruana Galizia after her murder.

“The difference is that I ceded libel cases against the heirs of a journalist who was assassinated in our country, Daphne Caruana Galizia… the democratic world demands that nobody persists in suing the heirs of a journalist who was assassinated,” he said.

“That would have been an attack on democracy, on freedom of speech, and it would have meant that after a person is murdered, there would be an attempt to try to kill the truth as well. This is the difference, Joseph Muscat.”

He highlighted that the European Commissioner for Human Rights had written to Muscat requesting that he drop his libel suits against the heirs of Caruana Galizia, but the Prime Minister had replied that he would only do so if the family accepted the conclusions of the Egrant inquiry report. “A report which he had said he would publish but which remains ocked in his drawer in Castille.”

Muscat has to explain where hospitals money went

The government had given taxpayer’s money to Steward Health Care, after the US company bought its hospitals concession from Vitals Global Healthcare, Delia said, however people had not experienced a corresponding improvement in the health service.

A total of €34 million had been invested in the recently opened Barts Medical School, but this would only be making money for its foreign owners and would not be making St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo hospitals better.

“When one considers the money we gave the government and what was spent, there is a discrepancy of about €60 million. Where are the €60 million, Edward Scicluna and Joseph Muscat? You need to give an account of what happened to the money. The €60 million is the price of corruption, and those who took them fled Malta,” he said, in reference to Vitals.

‘The emperor has lost his memory’

Delia said that when journalists had asked Muscat when he had last met Electrogas investor Yorgen Fenech, the Prime Minister had appeared uncertain as to what month it currently was.

“He not only got confused and started he stammering, he also asked journalists what month we’re in. The emperor has not lost his clothes, but his memory. He doesn’t know what month we’re in… and he accused the government of not being credible.”

It was the government which was no longer credible, Delia stressed, underscoring that the people were now starting to realise this.

“There are some [economic] sectors which are doing well,” he said, “But have we accepted that we can only make money if we are corrupt? I don’t think so. I still believe in good. I still believe in the Maltese people. I still believe that although we have a corrupt government, we have a good people,” he said.

Saturday night’s protest in Valletta had shown that people are standing up to be counted, he said, adding that the Nationalist Party would continue rising up to the challenge of fighting corruption.