The police and the Financial Investigation Analysis Unit (FIAU) should immediately investigate former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat over the possibility that he may have received kickbacks linked to the hospitals’ deal, Opposition leader Bernard Grech said this afternoon.
In a Facebook post, Grech urged the police’s Financial Crimes Investigations Department to go after Muscat, who he described as a big fish, rather than focusing on small businesses and professionals.
“The police’s Financial Crimes Investigation Department and the FIAU should investigate without delay the behaviour of Joseph Muscat, the big fish, rather than laying siege on family businesses and decent professionals, who are all feeling prosecuted,” Grech said.
“I expect the Police Commissioner to start an investigation into funds received by Joseph Muscat.”
On Sunday it was revealed that Muscat had received €60,000 in four installments from Accutor AG and Spring X Media. Accutor was revealed to have received €3.6 million from Steward Health Care – which holds the concession for operating three public hospitals
Muscat has insisted that the funds were transferred as payment for legitimate business he had done for the companies, adding that all income had been declared.
However, Grech has insisted that the revelations raised suspicions that the money could be linked to one of the big government projects implemented during Muscat’s time in office.
“Such transactions, especially in light of declarations by Muscat that he would not offer services to any companies linked to government contracts, should be investigated immediately,” Grech said, adding that the police should also be updating the public on their investigations.
“So far, all investigations appear to have stopped a layer away from politicians, but politicians are not untouchables. They are the ones that should be held responsible the most. Malta wants to see concrete results and not 20 open cases with none being resolved.”
Robert Abela hasn’t asked Steward about payments
Responding to questions from the Times of Malta this afternoon, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he had not asked Steward Health Care about the payments, noting that a magisterial inquiry into the deal was ongoing.
The Prime Minister did however emphasise that former prime ministers had an obligation to uphold their responsibilities and follow ethical standards after leaving office.
Abela wouldn’t be drawn into whether he personally felt the funds were kickbacks. “That I cannot say because it is the inquiring magistrate’s job to arrive at that conclusion.”
When asked whether Muscat was still a member of the Labour Party, Abela stressed that Muscat was “not an MP and part of the Labour parliamentary group, and was never part of this government and never a consultant”.
Civil society group Repubblika also filed a police report this morning for Muscat to be investigated.
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