[WATCH] Egrant report exposes a lie but still leaves Maltese suffering breach of national trust

MaltaToday executive editor Matthew Vella and Labour government consultant Robert Musumeci tackled the aftermath of the Egrant inquiry publication on Xtra

Matthew Vella and Robert Musumeci discussed the publication of the Egrant inquiry report on tonight's Xtra
Matthew Vella and Robert Musumeci discussed the publication of the Egrant inquiry report on tonight's Xtra

Malta has been faced yet again with conclusive evidence that disproved Daphne Caruana Galizia’s claims that the Panamanian offshore company Egrant was Michelle Muscat’s, but the country will still demand closure on the owner of the company, MaltaToday executive editor Matthew Vella said on TVM’s Xtra.

“We know that Brian Tonna was the ultimate beneficial owner of Egrant, but who was he holding it for? Why did he keep it dormant for two years?” Vella asked.

“Caruana Galizia may have believed her sources… but the forensic accountants and experts who analysed the evidence and data are clear about the allegations not being proven.”

The Labour government policy consultant Robert Musumeci said it was thanks to PN leader Adrian Delia’s insistence on having the full magisterial inquiry published that it was “now clearer than ever that the Prime Minister and his family had nothing to do with the biggest political lie in the country’s history,” echoing Muscat’s description of the allegation.

Musumeci even suggested that a ‘mastermind’ worked behind the scenes to create the illusion that Egrant belonged to the Muscat family. “There was no way to neutralise Joseph Muscat so someone worked to eradicate him from the country.”

Turning his guns on former PN leader Simon Busuttil, he said the MP had tied his political fortunes to a document that later was proven to have had falsified signatures.

But he defended the Attorney General’s refusal to have the inquiry published, now that he is facing calls for his resignation by PN leader Adrian Delia. “The Attorney General has the discretion to see what it proportional between the public interest and the releasing of the document. He did not think its publication was justified since it could prejudice other investigations.”

Musumeci said Malta was suffering under the agenda of individuals fanning the flames of its disrepute. “There are people who do not want to see the Labour Party in government at all costs, so they are exploiting everything for this end.”

Vella, on the other hand, noted that Malta’s biggest problem was the sense of distrust in the air, a result of the “enormous breach of trust which has taken place”, with prime examples of this including the Panama Papers scandal, the 17 Black revelations, and the alleged leak of Security Service information from former chief of staff Keith Schembri to the alleged mastermind Yorgen Fenech.

“If the police are not interested in investigating the Panama Papers, then you already have a breakdown of trust,” Vella said. “We need reforms in both public institutions and the financial sector, so that Malta can have a sense of fairness and decency which starts from the very top, but which it is currently lacking.”

These are part of what he described as a “tall order” facing Labour Party leadership contenders, Chris Fearne and Robert Abela, which also includes the environment, the rate of development taking place in the country, and the IIP scheme.

Vella said that even the Opposition faces its own problems of working inside a divided party. “The Nationalist Party must first sort out their internal problems, then eventually find a new leader who can unite the party and provide a good challenge to the Labour Party."

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