The judgement rescinding and annulling all three agreements and amendments between the government and Vitals Global Healthcare, and later with Steward Health Care, vindicates Daphne Caruana Galizia’s extensive reporting about the fraudulent deal, the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation said in a statement reacting to the ruling.
It was on 20 March 2015, that Caruana Galizia had first reported that the government had struck a deal with Oxley Capital Group of Singapore ahead of the call for proposals for the privatisation of three of Malta’s state hospitals, and that representatives of the company – including Ram Tumuluri – had visited Malta two months earlier for meetings.
The Foundation said it now expects the authorities to move swiftly against all those implicated in the fraudulent deal, with both criminal prosecutions and civil action to recover stolen funds, and to ensure the return of public assets to the Maltese public.
Caruana Galizia had reported in 2015, “Ram Tumuluri, presenting himself as the face of Oxley Capital, had held meetings with Maltese medical suppliers, at the offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the previous January (2015), gave them his card and told them that his company – Oxley (which is owned by Mark Pawley) – already had an agreement with the Maltese government to run the hospitals.
“I knew my information was 100% correct not only because of the cast-iron reliability of the people who were invited to those meetings at PricewaterhouseCoopers only to be confronted with this disturbing information, but also because, when I texted the government head of communications, Kurt Farrugia, asking him to confirm or deny that the government had reached an agreement with Oxley before the tender was out, he didn’t reply at all. There was a blank wall of silence. He usually replies punctiliously and very politely.
“One point needs to be made now: the government was NOT in talks with Vitals back then quite simply because Vitals did not exist. It was in talks with Oxley as represented by Ram Tumuluri.”
Government is ‘analysing’ the judgement
The government said in a statement it was analysing the ruling. In a terse statement following the ruling, it said it will protect the national interest, health care workers and patients.
It wasn’t me, it was Cabinet, Muscat claims
Former prime minister Joseph Muscat took to Facebook to insist he “always acted in the national interest and people of goodwill know this” in the judgement’s wake.
“I will respect its decision as I have always done but I need more time to analyse the sentence,” Muscat said.
He insisted there is documented evidence that Cabinet, which he presided over, had been involved at every stage of the concession process and that, as such, it had undergone legal scrutiny.
He also called for further investigation into the concession, stating that he “wants all the facts to be known”.
Cassola calls for international arrest warrants
Independent politician Arnold Cassola called for international arrest a=warrants to be issued for Ram Tumuluri and Armin Ernst.
“Moreover, since Konrad Mizzi has repeatedly declared that he has always acted with Joseph Muscat’s approval, the former Prime Minister and Minister should first be impeded from leaving the country and then arraigned in court for working against our country’s interests and for possible corruption.”
He insisted that after today’s judgement, “Robert Abela, Angelo Gafa’ and Victoria Buttigieg, should immediately terminate their attitude of prolonged inaction, which has resulted in the effective protection of the crooks who undermined our country’s economy and tarnished our reputation.”
Corruption has indeed been proven – ADPD
ADPD-The Green Party chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said in a reaction that it is now crystal clear the contract was fraudulent.
“In the light of this judgment we are calling for an urgent public inquiry on all contracts awarded by the government led by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat,” he added.
Cacopardo also requested that the Commissioner of Police investigates Joseph Muscat, Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona for fraud and corruption without delay.
Magisterial inquiry conclusions now awaited – Repubblika
NGO Repubblika said it is now “eagerly awaiting” the conclusion of a magisterial inquiry into the Vitals’ contract that it had requested and recalled the numerous hurdles placed on the path toward its opening.
“We reiterate our commitment that we will not allow any Police Commissioner or any Attorney General to not take the steps indicated by the inquiry,” Repubblika said in a statement.
It also insisted that the Maltese do not pay a single cent for the deal’s cancellation, even though Steward had been promised €100 million should such a situation develop.
“This money must be paid by those who committed themselves to it and those who corrupted themselves through this dirty project.
“This is not just a scandal of abuse and corruption. It is also scandalous that these corrupt people have planned and worked out schemes to make money from people’s illnesses and suffering.”
And… nothing happened.
The only reaction to any of this will be nothing, as the “systems should be left to function” as he regularily says. Muscat neds to come in and sign the bail book on a daily basis along with that snake Mizzi.
“Government is ‘analysing’ the judgement”. We should have heard of resignations from the government already. This government is untenable here and abroad, especially in the eyes of the EU. Commission.
Daphne will haunt them all to their graves!