Transport Minister Ian Borg gave an interview last Tuesday where he praised Prime Minister Robert Abela for his “courage” and urged all those in government who made mistakes to pay.
“I can’t say what was going on between two private companies, but this is not news that brings happy emotions,” he said when asked how he felt seeing his ex-Prime Minister’s former Chief of Staff arraigned on corruption charges.
The interview was carried out days before today’s shocking hearing which detailed Keith Schembri’s kickbacks and money laundering deals with directors of Allied Newspapers.
“I think, you who worked at The Times, know that you would not know what is going on between a company or a Chief of Staff. We’ll let justice run its course,” he said.
Asked if he had spoken to Schembri recently, Borg said: “It’s not a question of public interest but Keith Schembri was in government and was part of Joseph Muscat’s successes. There were obviously things that as a party we could have done better. But the point remains we did a lot of good for the country.”
Borg said he never saw anything wrong with his own eyes. And he pointed out that despite all the facts that emerged between 2016 and 2017, the electorate overwhelmingly chose Labour to remain in government.
“We need to work on the mistakes. I think Robert Abela did a lot of that in the last two months,” he said.
Borg said he speaks to Muscat often and he remains grateful for the many electoral victories he won for the party. He also said he had no reason to believe Muscat should also be taken to court especially since previous attempts like the Egrant inquiry never succeeded in pointing fingers at him.
Asked if Muscat knew about deals like the one Schembri had with Hillman, Borg laughed off the question and said I could not know what somebody else thinks.
Borg acknowledged that the recent court hearings in Malta have been “shocking”.
“You think to yourself: Am I in Malta?”
He was asked about recent allegations that former minister Chris Cardona was coordinating a second plot to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2015.
“Chris Cardona denies these allegations and there is a clear statement from the Police Commissioner that no politician is implicated,” he said.
Asked whether he felt comfortable having been surrounded by so many people accused of criminality, he said: “You judge a person on what you know about them, not everything you hear. But everybody who made mistakes should pay for them.”
Borg denied that he was involved in the 2010 bank heist which Caruana Galizia murderer Vince Muscat is claiming involved a sitting minister.
“If he knows information, he should say it,” Borg said.
Asked if the Prime Minister was being courageous right now, Borg said he was certainly courageous because the sentiment among Labourites is that the scales of justice do not work evenly.
“We spent 25 years criticising PN for corruption, and writing books about pardons, but nobody was ever arraigned like they were last Saturday. The sentiment is that,” he said, repeating that it was therefore courageous of Abela to be taking decisions to limit his powers when it comes to the police and the judiciary.
The second part of the interview will be released at a later date.