Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who resigned in January 2020, woke up on Wednesday (today) morning to find the police at his front door at 7am, who then proceeded to search his home for around three hours.
Dr Muscat’s Burmarrad home was searched in relation to a corruption probe into the Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) hospital deal, the Times of Malta reports.
Police seized his mobile phone, along with the mobiles of his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters. Dr Muscat, in comments uploaded as a video message to social media, said that he was not surprised by the search, due to rumours being circulated across political circles in recent days. He specifically pointed towards social media comments made by Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi.
Indeed, Dr Muscat reportedly had a file prepared with documents to pass onto the police. The documents are in relation to a story revealed by the Times of Malta back in November, where it stated that the former PM received €60,000 from a company, Accutor AG, which in turn received millions from Steward Healthcare, when it took over the contract to run three state hospitals from VGH.
The Times reports that the police search stemmed from a police investigation into whether the payments into Dr Muscat’s Bank of Valletta account from Accutor AG could potentially be linked to corruption in the highly controversial hospital deal.
The documents prepared by Dr Muscat reportedly justify the work carried out for Accutor AG.
Currently, there is a magisterial inquiry ongoing, launched after a legal application by NGO Repubblika in 2019.
Dr Muscat described the police search as excessive, and said that he had prepared the files with proof of work carried out from November, when the story alleging wrongdoing was first reported.
Could the former PM return to public life?
In comments uploaded to his personal social media, Dr Muscat warned that “if there is anyone who thinks that by [the police search] I would be intimidated, the result is to the contrary.
“If need be I will speak more, when I feel its right, how I choose to speak, and where I choose to do so.
“Next Saturday, I will celebrate my birthday…and I will start a new page.”
The former PM said that he spent the past two years quiet, but that he would “start making more noise” on the internet, as well as face-to-face, meeting the public “because everything [he] did for [his] country”, was done so with the “best intentions.”
“I am not perfect but what I am being accused of is not true and I hope and am sure, that the proof I have provided will attest to this.”
Dr Muscat’s signalling of being more vocal, even in face-to-face with the public, comes during an election year. The precise date of the election has revealed, however.
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