Former prime minister Joseph Muscat, on whose watch the Vitals Global Healthcare deal was struck and which was torn to shreds by the courts on Friday, is shifting culpability for the deal’s fraud and corruption from him and his government to “third parties”.
Muscat is taking to social media to make his statements on the court judgement that exposed multiple misdeeds on the part of his administration and its individual members, notably former ministers Chris Cardona and Konrad Mizzi, who have since slipped into the shadows.
On Friday, Muscat had attempted to shift the blame for the deal to his Cabinet as a whole, which he claimed had been continually involved in the process. Former cabinet member and veteran politician Evarist Bartolo this morning labelled Muscat’s comments as a “smokescreen”.
Muscat’s successor, Prime Minister Robert Abela, has also been busy shifting accountability for the debacle by claiming it all happened before his time, although he had served as legal consultant to the Office of the Prime Minister when it was under Muscat.
Commenting on Friday’s damning indictment from the courts, Muscat this morning brushed off responsibility, saying: “The references to fraud in the judgment in this civil case are against third parties and not against me or the government.”
Noting that the word ‘corruption’ did not surface in the court ruling, Muscat insisted the only reason the presiding judge rescinded the concessions in his ruling on Friday was because “in his opinion the concessionaires did not fulfil what was expected of them”.
Muscat elaborated further on his Cabinet’s involvement in the deal, saying the fact that the hospital concession has been discussed and related decisions had been taken by Cabinet was “not something new” and that such information had been included in the Auditor General’s report the court had referred to in its judgement.
He also insisted that “Cabinet has always had an established system of legal scrutiny of the decisions that are taken” and that the system had been employed when it came to the Vitals deal.
He also defended himself by noting his name had been mentioned only twice in yesterday’s judgement – when it ran through his testimony, and when the court quoted his testimony where he had acknowledged the concessionaires had not fulfilled everything expected of them.
Follow the money. Trace the funds. Money does not disappear. It should be somewhere. They might have bought property or gold or diamonds or crypto. But it can definitely be traced.
Watering down a very unpleasant situation – to say the least – and a truly very dangerous predicament.
“Wake up Mr Police Commissioner. You have a lot of work to do”.
“Wake up Mr Police Commissioner” —-Do you honestly think the incompetent Gafa will crawl out from his constant slumber?
How rich of Evarist now to state that he did know nothing of the deal’s details when all this was presented to cabinet members, which would only mean sheer incompetence and amateurism on his part and the rest of cabinet members for endorsing a fraudulent deal without going through details. Because as he has well said (for once), the devil is in the details. Now it is too late to cry over spilt milk. You were part of this corrupt lot.
Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan…
The third party he’s referring to is EGRANT.
He says the court annulled the contracts only because Stew-Vitals did not fulfill their part of the contract. Muscat as usual – half truth and half missing. From 2015 till 2020, five years of his prime ministership he did nothing about the non-performance. In 2020, he met with new PM Abela in the company of the ubiquitous Ernst. From 2020 till two days ago, Abela did nothing. Fearne did nothing. No one in cabinet (2015 to 2023) ever spoke up. They kept on paying out the 80 millions a year.
Joseph Muscat always likes to act the without any knowledge on anything. This is merely maintaining the impression one has of him as some person who was apparently incapable in knowing what the members of his own cabinet were doing. That’s what he pretends but it doesn’t wash.
In my view, his modus operandi was in short ‘do as you please, as long as the money comes in, it doesn’t matter whether there is some crookery involved, but never admit anything’.
The ex PM must be shiting in his pants ,that is why he shifted the blame on the Cabinet. Your Place is in jail.
Even half-way competent law enforcement should have been able to turn one or two of the many rats against the rest by now by promising lighter sentences for their various misdeeds. Which obviously leaves questions of integrity…
OPM > No longer Office Prime Minister but changed to OFFICE PERTAINING MAFIA