Former Malta Book Council chairman Mark Camilleri has alleged that Joseph Muscat had offered to make him ambassador of any country he wanted in an attempt to silence him.
In his new book ‘A Rent Seeker’s Paradise’, which Lovin Malta has obtained a copy of, Camilleri said that several “bizarre” things took place after the news broke that Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech owned the mysterious Dubai company 17 Black.
“The OPM went on overdrive to push the rumour that Daphne was murdered by oil smugglers, pushing this narrative really brazenly with Keith [Schembri] feeding information to his minions who then relayed it to the Maltese press,” he wrote.
“The main suspect was Darren Debono, the oil smuggler, so it was being claimed, and 17 Black had nothing to do with Daphne’s murder.”
Camilleri recounted how a reorganisation of government personnel was underway at the moment, with the “excuse” that it was a new administration.
He said that one day, a close friend of his who also had ties to Muscat told him over dinner that the Prime Minister had offered him an ambassadorship in any country he wanted, including in a country where Malta didn’t yet have an embassy.
“It was obvious to me what was happening,” Camilleri wrote. “They wanted to zip my mouth and exile me to an exotic country where I would probably be drinking martinis by the beach reading classical literature instead of militating in local politics.”
“I wouldn’t even have had to write my own emails whilst my government-appointed personal assistant would be more than duly obliged to write them himself so that I would not cause any diplomatic incidents. It could have been anyone’s dream job.”
“I was very successful at leading the National Book Council to the extent that government could barely control me in that position. Becoming an ambassador would have set me up for life while ensuring my silence.”
However, Camilleri said he refused the offer as he “was no Pablo Neruda”, the late Chilean communist poet who spent years in exile.
“Even when I was desperate later on, I did not take the option, which most probably would have been granted to me had I requested it,” he said.
Lovin Malta has asked Muscat to respond to this allegation but no response was received as of the time of writing.
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