WATCH: Simon Busuttil’s Parliament Gaffe Embarrasses His Successor
The slip-up occurred while Parliament was debating the rule of law
Former PN leader Simon Busuttil unintentionally threw his successor Adrian Delia under the bus last night, when he said in Parliament that the current Opposition leader is being investigated for money laundering.
During a debate in the House on the rule of law, Busuttil accused the government of creating a culture of impunity in Malta, in which criminals can get away with murder and political responsibility is non-existent.
At one point, he referred to the recent appointment of former Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman to the board of trustees of the new American University of Malta. The appointment is controversial because Hillman is currently subject to a magisterial inquiry for money laundering, in the wake of a leaked report by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit which found he had been paid over €650,000 by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Daphne Caruana Galizia had accused Adrian Delia of laundering money through a Jersey bank account
However, Busuttil confused his Adrians - initially claiming it was Adrian Delia who was being investigated for money laundering, instead of Adrian Hillman.
Was it a mere slip of the tongue though?
In one of her final exposes before her assassination, journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had reportedhow Adrian Delia had used a Jersey bank account to launder money from a Soho prostitution ring in the early 2000s.
The reports prompted the PN’s administrative council and Simon Busuttil himself to urge Delia to withdraw from the PN leadership race last summer. However, Delia refused to follow their advice - suing Caruana Galizia for libel four times, and accusing the journalist of fabricating a story out of fear she will lose her influence over the PN with him in charge of the party.
Delia dropped the four libel cases the morning after Caruana Galizia’s assassination, but Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is now pressuring the PN leader to request a magisterial inquiry to investigate her reports as he had done when Caruana Galizia had reported his wife owns a secret offshore company.