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MaltaToday 10 November 2021 MIDWEEK

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2 NEWS maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 10 NOVEMBER 2021 2 NEWS LUKE VELLA THE NGO Repubblika has filed a report to the Police Commis- sioner calling for an investiga- tion into former Labour prime minister Joseph Muscat. Repubblika president Robert Aquilina said the Tumas mag- nate Yorgen Fenech lost his mo- bile phone in America in 2018, and that when he started using a new one early in 2019, he felt the need to message Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi, to let them know that all their previous mes- sages had been deleted. "This is the behaviour of some- one who would have acted in bad faith," Aquilina claimed. "We are aware that Mizzi pan- icked when he got to know that Fenech lost his phone. We know that Mizzi was highly panicked and anxious to assure himself that the messages between him- self and Yorgen Fenech were safe." Aquilina held a press confer- ence in front of the Financial Crimes Investigations Depart- ment (FCID) building, where he presented a report to the Police Commissioner. Aquilina claimed that nothing was being done to bring the "un- touchables" Mizzi and Muscat to justice, despite the sacking of for- mer police inspector Ian Abdilla, and the appointment of Alexan- dra Mamo to the Financial Crimes Investigation Department. "If Commissioner Angelo Gafà, Mamo and the Attorney General think that we will stop with the action we took recently, they are gravely mistaken […] since then, we have received a lot of infor- mation about what was going on between Yorgen Fenech and public officials," Aquilina said – he mentioned government ap- pointees Frederick Azzopardi, James Piscopo, Heathcliff Farru- gia, Joseph Cuschieri and Johann Buttigieg by name. Aquilina touched upon the revelations by the Sunday Times that Muscat was paid €60,000 from a Swiss firm linked to Stew- ard Healthcare. He also said that since the two former directors of the Swiss company, Kamal Shar- ma and Tyrone Greenshields are in the UK, Repubblika wrote to the British police to request a joint investigation. "This is prime facie a textbook case of money laundering [...] I will therefore repeat myself in front of the FCID, what I said in Valletta: Joseph Muscat belongs in prison," Aquilina said. Repubblika files police report to investigate Muscat over consultancies MATTHEW VELLA FORMER Labour prime min- ister Joseph Muscat issued an instant response to a call from Repubblika for police investiga- tions into his consultancy work while still an MP in 2020, follow- ing his disgraced exit. He doubled down on the calls for investigations into his pri- vate work by saying he had nothing to hide. "There can be all the nec- essary investigations since I have nothing to hide. It seems that those making accusations against me are implying that because I carried out work abroad for a company that could have had connections with interests in Malta, this amounts to corruption. "This when the assignments I carried out have nothing to do with the Maltese government." The statement concerns a report from The Times show- ing Muscat was paid in March 2020 from a Swiss firm for con- sultancy work. The same firm had previous connections with Steward Healthcare, the pri- vate hospitals concessionaire, as well as with Yorgen Fenech, the Tumas magnate now ac- cused of masterminding the Caruana Galizia assassination. Muscat has denied any link between any government pro- ject and the consultancies he was paid for. "Using the same benchmark, I cannot understand how no- body ever protested against other people. For example, Dr Austin Gatt, who after step- ping down from his ministerial post took up roles in a group of companies that has a direct relation with at least two enti- ties that were under his direct responsibility for many years," Muscat said, referring to the Hili Group. "Or Tonio Fenech, who was responsible for financial ser- vices for many years but then gave services to companies in the financial services sector," he said, referring to the for- mer minister who also passed through the revolving door. "Or Claudio Grech, who was part of the Ministry which ne- gotiated Smart City on behalf of the Maltese government and then was appointed CEO of Smart City. This to mention only a few, and without going in the realm of legal services," Muscat said, referring to the former Austin Gatt aide who switched over to the private company Tecom which Gatt's ministry attracted to Malta for their Smart City project. "But there are clearly two weights and two measures. The authorities should do their job according to the rules, which include us not getting to know what is going on through par- ticular channels, since it un- dermines trust in the system." Joseph Muscat uses revolving-doors defence over call for investigations Former Labour prime minister reacts to Repubblika saying he has nothing to hide from any investigation Joseph Muscat with Steward Healthcare president Armin Ernst (left) – the former PM denied having offerred consultancy services to the American company

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