Chris Cardona was the one to sign the recently discovered memorandum of understanding linked to collusion in the controversial Vitals hospitals deal.
The MOU was signed in October 2014, months before a request for proposals was even issued for the concession to operate three of Malta’s state hospitals.
The document had somehow “gone missing” and was only discovered last July.
Malta’s National Audit Office has said that the MoU is evidence of government collusion in the deal.
Cardona admitted he was the one to sign the initial agreement. However, he insisted that he had nothing to do with the deal, insisting that he would sign several MoUs daily.
He is currently subject to a magisterial inquiry over the deal.
Disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi, who was leading the entire project under Projects Malta, has insisted there has been no wrongdoing on his part, pointing the finger at the MoU.
VGH had been granted a controversial concession for the Gozo General Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital.
The company was forced to sell off their operations to Steward Healthcare just 21 months after starting amid growing financial debt, which stood at €36 million by the end of 2017. Its CEO, Ram Tumuluri, reportedly still made off with a €5 million bonus.
An un-redacted contract revealed that taxpayers were paying VGH around €188,000 a day (€70 million a year) to provide hospital beds to the state, €1.2 million a year for the Barts medical school and a further €1 million for a helicopter service.
Steward Healthcare was brought in to replace them. They were given certain assurances by the government, namely Mizzi and former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, when they were brought in to save the failing concession.
This included a massive €100 million buyout should the concession be rescinded and a secret €8 million bank guarantee (which has since been waived).