Robert Abela refused to stand up for his predecessor Joseph Muscat in light of yesterday’s Macbridge revelations, telling journalists at a press conference that Muscat no longer forms part of the government.
Abela was asked whether he believes Muscat was unaware of former Minister Konrad Mizzi’s and former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri’s dealings, and whether he will allow Muscat to remain part of the PL.
His response to both questions was identical: “Joseph Muscat is no longer part of the government”.
He added that his actions with regards Mizzi (firing him from PL’s parliamentary group) and Schembri speak for themselves.
“The letter I sent the police commissioner [to ask him to investigate Macbridge] today is a sign of trust in the institutions,” he said. “We’re completely behind the institutions and will incentivize them to carry on working to ensure justice is done with everyone.”
Abela also dismissed a claim made by PN MP Jason Azzopardi last year that he had found out who owns Macbridge in November 2019, insisting he first heard of its owner from the media yesterday.
Macbridge was one of two companies, along with Yorgen Fenech’s 17 Black, listed in the Panama Papers as a target client for the offshore companies of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.
Yesterday, Times of Malta and its reporting partners Reuters, OCCRP and Süddeutsche Zeitung found corporate documents showing Macbridge is owned by the mother-in-law of Chen Cheng, the Chinese negotiator on multimillion euro deals involving Enemalta.