Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has claimed that Repubblika’s police report over his consultancy payments amounts to a case of “two weights and two measures”.
“There can be all the necessary investigations since I have nothing to hide,” Muscat said in a Facebook post today.
“It seems that those making accusations against me are implying that because I carried out work abroad for a company that could have had connections with interests in Malta, this amounts to corruption. This when the assignments I carried out have nothing to do with the Maltese Government.”
Muscat drew comparisons between his situation and that of former Nationalist ministers Austin Gatt and Tonio Fenech, who took up jobs in private jobs they were politically responsible for after stepping down from politics.
He also noted that PN MP Claudio Grech formed part of the Ministry which negotiated the Smart City contract on behalf of the Maltese government and ended up being appointed CEO of Smart City himself.
“This to mention only a few, and without going in the realm of legal services,” he said. “But there are clearly two weights and two measures. The authorities should do their job according to the rules, which include us not getting to know what is going on through particular channels, since it undermines trust in the system.”
Over the weekend, Sunday Times of Malta reported that Muscat was paid €60,000 from Accutor AG and Spring X Media, two Swiss companies owned by Pakistani lawyer Wasay Bhatti, in the early months of 2020, shortly after his resignation as Prime Minister.
Accutor AG had received millions of euro from Steward Healthcare during the company’s takeover of the hospital contract from Vitals Global Healthcare.
Muscat said he had first met Bhatti as an investor with an office in Malta and that the lawyer had approached him for consultancy work shortly after his resignation as Prime Minister.
He has denied wrongdoing, stating that his consultancy work was documented, duly invoiced, declared, and paid in Malta. Bhatti has also denied wrongdoing.
Repubblika today reported Muscat to police commissioner Angelo Gafa via a notitia criminis filed by lawyer and PN MP Jason Azzopardi, which warns the Sunday Times report is evidence of “prima facie criminal behaviour”.
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