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PN files judicial protest over ‘shameful’ Vitals deal

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat personally responsible for breach in VGH hospitals deal, Opposition says

PN leader Adrian Delia

The Opposition filed a judicial protest against the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, holding him personally responsible for the “breach” in the agreement reached with Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) over the privatisation of three public hospitals.

In the judicial protest, all Opposition MPs said that VGH failed to observe its contractual obligations, through which it was handed public land.

Speaking outside the law courts on Monday morning, PN leader Adrian Delia said the protest also calls on the Lands Authority to “take the necessary action according to law” over the VGH deal, which he described as “shameful”.

Delia said Vitals has failed to meet the obligations set by the contract despite being paid €190,000 daily.

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Last week, The Shift revealed the hidden owners behind Vitals Global Healthcare – some with long-standing political connections in Malta, how interests were hidden and what seems to have prompted the surprise decision to sell their concession to Steward Healthcare. The investigation was based on court documents filed by one of the investors in Vitals who tried to protect his interests by stopping the transfer.

The controversial concession was signed in March 2016, but has been plagued by controversy since the agreement was signed with Ram Tumuluri, a South Indian-born businessman who signed the deal on behalf of the Singapore-based shareholders.

The investor group behind VGH signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government before it won the tender. The MoU was mentioned in a presentation dated February 2015 given to financial institutions by Vitals in Malta, even though the request for proposals to take over the running of three public hospitals was only published in April 2015, and the tender was officially awarded to Vitals the following September.

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