Opposition leader Adrian Delia said it was “hasty” of him to request the suspension of his predecessor Simon Busuttil from the Nationalist Party in light of the conclusion of the Egrant inquiry last year.
Delia made this admission on Xarabank last night as he urged his critics to help him revitalise his beleaguered party into an alternative government for Malta.
“Looking back, the decision was affrettato,” he said.
In July 2018, Delia stripped Busuttil of his good governance portfolio and asked him to suspend himself from the PN after an inquiry found forged signatures on a document that was supposed to prove that the company Egrant belonged to the wife of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
Delia said that his predecessor should shoulder political responsibility for having made the Egrant allegations a main pillar of the PN’s 2017 general election.
However, Busuttil refused to follow this order and Delia ended up retracting his call after realizing he mightn’t have the numbers to back up his original decision in the parliamentary group and PN executive council.
And on Xarabank last night, Delia used the Egrant case to try and build bridges with his internal critics.
The PN leader demanded the publication of the full inquiry report, noting that three ministers [Konrad Mizzi, Chris Cardona and Edward Scicluna] recently cited what appeared to be an unpublished part of the report.
In a court application, the three ministers said that magistrate Aaron Bugeja had requested the police to investigate who was responsible for drafting, using and sharing the document with forged signatures.
“Other ministers have access to unpublished passages from the report,” Delia said. “Where did they get those passages from? High-ranking government officials had testified in court that they hadn’t given this report to anyone, but now we know that’s not the case.”