The frontman for the scandalous deal involving three of Malta’s public hospitals, Ram Tumuluri, has taken issue with an article published by The Shift, saying it was nothing more than an attempt to cause him “reputational harm”.
The line that irked Tumuluri in an opinion piece by Kevin Cassar stated: “It would expose Joseph Muscat and his pyramid of grand collaborators who have made money through his direct interventions – Ram Tumuluri, Ashok Rattehalli, Shaukat Ali, Mark Pawley, Cheng Chen, Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, Hani Salah, Yorgen Fenech, Turab Musayev, Armin Ernst.”
Tumuluri, the face of the Vitals Global Healthcare deal, wrote to The Shift through his lawyer Cedric Mifsud, insisting the statement was “a narrative that purposely tarnishes” his reputation and demanded its removal.
He said his relationship with disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat was nothing less than “professional”.
“Should you wish to publish this letter as you have done previously, you are to note that this is not a threat but an exercise of a right,” Mifsud added.
Tumuluri left Malta soon after the consortium he fronted milked a concession worth millions of euros before selling it off to Steward Healthcare, which argued in court the deal the company took over was “fraudulent and corrupt”.
The Shift replied to Tumuluri, saying the article published would not be modified.
The Shift has informed Tumuluri that the statement he is contesting, “when taken in the context of the full article and the overall circumstances in which the country finds itself, constitutes a statement that is very much compliant with the law.
“Insofar as concerns your client’s assertion that there is in place ‘an agenda that is set to tarnish his character’; frankly, he flatters himself”.
Reacting to his statement that he would “seek to protect his rights and request damages”, The Shift replied that it would “welcome the opportunity to cross-examine” him and pointed out it would insist on Tumuluri giving his testimony in person.