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MASSIMO COSTA PRIME Minister Joseph Muscat has stood by a civil servant who carried out unofficial meetings with a Liby- an warlord, Haithem Tajouri, posing as the Prime Minister's special envoy. Muscat told reporters that Neville Gafà "was doing a very good job" af- ter the civil servant was sacked from the Foundation for Medical Services (FMS) on the order of deputy prime minister and health minister Chris Fearne. Gafà's contract, on a position of trust basis, as a senior manager at the foundation was rescinded on in- structions issued by Fearne's office, The Times of Malta reported. In comments on a Whatsapp group for Labour Party delegates, Gafà expresed his gratitide for their support after the story hit the press and following Fearne's comments. Members of the group in turn expressed solidarity with the civil servant, who remains very popular amongst Labour Party members. A new millionaire for Christmas? SUPER 5 jackpot tops €1.18m Jail sentence for woman who raped her nine-year-old grandson confirmed on appeal WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT WEDNESDAY EDITION €1.00 Newspaper post WEDNESDAY • 12 DECEMBER 2018 • ISSUE 616 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY HIGH STAKES PEDO GRANDMA PAGE 8 PAGE 2 PAGE 4 Muscat stands by Gafà following meeting with Tripoli warlord EDITORIAL • PAGE 9 Gozo hospital helicopter has downtime three months a year DAVID HUDSON THE helicopter being used to evacuate patients from the Gozo General Hospital to Malta, cannot be used for three months in a 12-month period since it has to under- go legally required mainte- nance. The helicopter – which is crucial for the evacuation of patients needing additional healthcare at Mater Dei Hospital – therefore func- tions for only nine months in a year. Questions have now been raised as to why the Armed Forces of Malta's helicop- ter is not automatically de- ployed when the Steward Healthcare helicopter is out of service, after another patient with cardiac com- plications was unable to be evacuated to Malta last Sunday, the second patient not transferred by helicop- ter in one week. Health ministry plays down suggestion that Steward is unwilling to pay for AFM helicopter each time Gozo hospital helicopter is unavailable PAGE 3 Neville Gafà The Steward Healthcare helicopter is crucial for the evacuation of patients needing treatment at Mater Dei Hospital

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