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MT 25 May 2017

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ELECTION SPECIAL €1.00 Newspaper post THURSDAY • 25 MAY 2017 • ISSUE 534• WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT ELECTIONS DAYS TO GO 9 PAGE 5 Russian spectre makes bizarre entry in election MATTHEW VELLA MALTA'S fourth week of its general election entered bi- zarre territory yesterday when a French intelligence specialist publication reported concerns from the British and Ameri- can secret services, of Russian meddling… in the Maltese election. The allegation was connected to the presence of a Russian whistleblower who has testi- fied in a magisterial inquiry launched in connection with accusations that Prime Minis- ter Joseph Muscat is the owner of an offshore company, Egrant Inc. But when asked about the claims in the report, Muscat yesterday he was aware of in- formation from foreign in- telligence services of alleged Russian meddling in Malta's election. Muscat said he could not state, as claimed in the Intel- ligenceOnline report, whether the whistleblower in the Egrant allegations was connected to these claims. "All I know is that we were told to expect retribution for our role in hastening the visa waiver programme for Ukraine and after we stopped the refu- elling of a Russian warship on the way to Syria," Muscat said. "This information came to us from foreign agencies, not from the Malta Security Services." At least 34 migrants, mostly toddlers, drown off Libya AT least 34 migrants, most of them toddlers, drowned yesterday, after their over- loaded vessel capsized in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya, rescuers said. The migrants were on a wooden boat carrying be- tween 500 and 700 people and were just 20 nautical miles off the Libyan coast when the accident hap- pened. One of a group of boats listed suddenly, send- ing about 200 people tum- bling into the Mediterra- nean, Co-founder of humani- tarian Malta-based res- cue group MOAS, Chris Catrambone, said on Twit- ter that the group had al- ready recovered 34 bodies and that "most are toddlers." bizarre entry in election Nationalist Party launches manifesto for a socially just Malta, free of corruption YANNICK PACE THE Nationalist Party (PN) General Council yesterday evening approved three electoral manifestos for the forth- coming election. PN leader Simon Bu- suttil said the Forza Nazzjonali coali- tion, which includes Marlene Farrugia's Partit Demokratiku, through its mani- festos was putting forward over 500 proposals for the country. The first of the manifestos is a general manifesto while the second includes a collection of proposals for Gozo and the third deals with the needs of the coun- try's youths. PAGE 6

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