Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has denied payments made to him by a Swiss company linked to Steward Health Care were not above board, saying everything was “fully declared” and the payments were for work done after he had resigned as the nation’s leader in early 2020.
“The work I carried out over a number of months was not in any way related to projects related to the Maltese Government,” Muscat said this morning after the payments were revealed by the Times of Malta.
“It was spread over a number of countries, in different sectors, and is fully documented. All work and payments are fully declared, not as in the case of those who tried to rush and regularise their position with the tax authorities overnight because they were entering politics.”
His response comes after it was revealed that Muscat had received up to €60,000 from Accutor AG as well as Spring X Media in four monthly payments, according to reports, for work he had done after resigning as Prime Minister, but while still an MP, starting in March 2020.
Accutor AG works with Steward Healthcare, the company that took over the VGH hospitals deal, receiving up to €3.6 million from them.
Accutor AG and Spring X Media were run by lawyer Wasay Bhatti, a man who was known to celebrate his close relationship with both Muscat as well as former chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Muscat said that all payments received were for work he has completed for these companies, and that they were less than being reported in the media.
“The payments I received for assignments carried out over a number of months are nowhere near these amounts. But whoever gleams the headline is left unaware of this,” he said.
“There are some who will never forgive me for helping bring about change in the country. They believe that I do not even have the right to work,” he ended. “But the more they insist, the more it is clear that these people still cannot offer an alternative for the country.”
What do you make of Muscat’s payments and thought process?