Steward Health Care Malta (SHCM) has filed an appeal against the Maltese Civil Court judgement on the hospitals’ concession agreement and requested a European Court of Justice (ECJ) Preliminary Ruling.
The company said it “emphatically rejects the narrative of the judge’s findings in relation to SHCM, an assessment that was made with no basis in evidence”.
In a sentence that has sent shockwaves around the country since it was delivered late last month, Judge Francesco Depasquale declared the deal which saw three state hospitals passed into private hands null and void.
It came at the end of a five-year court case started by then-Opposition Leader Adrian Delia.
Steward described the narrative as “erroneous”, and insisted that it could have been disproven had “SHCM simply been asked to supply evidence on these counts to court – a request that was never made”.
Making a similar argument to the one it initially put forward in its preliminary response to the judgement, Steward said that the ruling “presents major concerns for the rule of law in Malta and has serious implications for the future of foreign investment in the country.”
Steward has filed, together with the appeal, an ECJ Preliminary Ruling request from the High Court.
“While SHCM has no position on or knowledge of events that took place while the concession was being awarded, the company has supplied significant documentary and other evidence to counter any claims made in its respect as part of its appeal.”
It continued: “This evidence, which includes relevant interactions with the Government of Malta and documents outlining how SHCI transformed a bankrupt enterprise into a professionally managed operation with a sound financial footing, will help to inform the understanding of the Maltese people about the concession.”
It also referred to the US Embassy and the US State Department, saying it has kept them informed at all times of the relevant events and engagements with the Maltese Government.
Steward also stated that these entities were “on several occasions” present at negotiations on the concession terms.
“SHCM remains committed to operate at all times in accordance with its highest professional standards and values. Our priority was and remains always the provision of optimal healthcare to the communities and patients we are entrusted to serve.”
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