Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has, for the first time, admitted that he had been gifted an expensive Bvlgari watch by Yorgen Fenech.
During an interview on ONE, Muscat said that he has handed the watch, whose existence was first revealed by Lovin Malta, over to the Maltese state and that this is the only watch in the state’s possession.
He noted that Bvlgari had designed 25 watches for the occasion of Malta’s accession to the EU in 2004 and that his is the only one of these in the possession of the state.
Muscat attempted to deflect the gift he was given by Fenech by suggesting that some of these other watches may also have been given to people who are now “acting the virgin”.
“Where are the other watches?” Muscat asked. “It doesn’t appear as though any of them were declared or left to the state; I’m the only one who did so. I know where some of the other watches are but I’ll let their owners reveal their existence. I’ve been cautious but I won’t let anyone tarnish my name and if people want to play the virgin, I’ll have no choice but to ask these questions.”
“I’m not implicating other Prime Ministers of having acted incorrectly, but those acting the virgin should answer these questions too.”
Bvlgari had designed 25 limited edition watches for the occasion of Malta’s EU accession 15 years ago and Lovin Malta is informed that only one is still in their possession. The late businessman George Fenech had purchased several of them himself and his son Yorgen Fenech gifted one of them to Joseph Muscat as a Christmas present in December 2014.
The watch given to Muscat was #17 of the collection, chosen specifically because it was the favourite number of George Fenech, who died on 2nd December 2014.
Muscat had previously reacted to the revelation of Fenech’s luxurious gift by pledging not to engage in “partial and deeply manipulated” information that was being leaked to the media. He later said that the information was leaked as payback for Cabinet’s refusal to grant Yorgen Fenech a presidential pardon over the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.