Egrant Inquiry (Updated)
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Simon Busuttil reacts

 

The former PN leader, in a Facebook post said that his position remains the same and he will be keeping his fight for justice even without Delia’s support.

 

Administrative Council of the PN backs Leader Adrian Delia’s call to Simon Busuttil to suspend himself 

The Malta Independent: The Nationalist Party administrative council this evening expressed its full support to party leader Adrian Delia and called upon former leader Simon Busuttil to step down.

Administrative Council Meeting of the PN

Malta Today:  Members of the Nationalist Party’s administrative council have started arriving at PN Headquarters for an urgent meeting this evening.

The meeting was called after the PN leader Adrian Delia requested his predecessor, Simon Busuttil to suspend himself from the party following the results of the Egrant inquiry.

The PN Council is made up of the highest ranking party representatives and includes the heads of its various sections. Busuttil took to Facebook, writing that he was willing to face the Administrative Council to have his say, saying he wanted to fight for the truth even if he stood alone.

Busuttil posted on Facebook, saying “should the Council have any questions to ask me, I am available to attend and answer. The short notice will not stop me from fighting on for justice, even if I am alone.”

Reaction by Partit Demokratiku

Partit Demokratiku said it is concerned because it is clear that our country has two parties in collusion.

The fact remains, PD said after the publication of the conclusions of the magisterial inquiry involving the PM and his wife, that Muscat, “till today, has kept Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri close to him in the highest corridors of power, and having the country’s assets in their control, despite the fact that both of them opened secret companies in Panama within days of coming to power in 2013, and simultaneously with the opening of Egrant. (Malta Independent)

Partit Demokratiku contested last election with the PN in a coalition named “Jien Nagħżel Malta”. The coalition was declared null few weeks after Adrian Delia was elected as leader of the PN. 

Reaction by Alternattiva Demokratika

The main point is that it is never an easy matter to prove the existence of corruption, Alternattiva Demokratika chairman Carmel Cacopardo said.

Reacting to the publication of the conclusions of a magisterial inquiry involving the Prime Minister and his wife, Cacopardo said that one fully understands that people may have various suspicions, but to be in a position to prove such suspicions is a completely different matter. (Malta Independent)

Reaction by former Nationalist Party Leader Simon Busuttil

In a post on his Facebook page, Dr Simon Busuttil said that when asked to resign by Dr Delia, he immediately said that he does not see a reason to do so. He stressed that he’s proud that he’ll keep fighting the truth and for justice, even if this means he will remain alone in the fight.

Press Conference by Nationalist Party Leader Adrian Delia

In the wake of the findings of the Egrant inquiry, Nationalist Party Leader Dr Adrian Delia has asked his predecessor Dr Simon Busuttil to suspend himself from the Parliamentary Group of the party to be able to focus on the other ongoing inquiries. He also announced that he removed Dr Busuttil from the Shadow Cabinet.

Dr Simon Busuttil earlier has posted the following reaction:

Press Conference by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Times of Malta: There was nothing to link Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his wife Michelle or their family to Panama company Egrant Inc., a magisterial inquiry has found.

The Times continues reporting that Magistrate Aaron Bugeja found no documentation linking the Muscat family to the allegations, with a UK-based forensic accounting firm also failing to find any evidence linking the Muscats to Egrant on Pilatus Bank servers.

It found that no member of the Muscat family had accounts at Pilatus Bank. Similarly, UK-based Harbinson Forensics told the inquiry that Pilatus Bank records searched did not show any bank accounts, or discussion about opening bank accounts for Egrant, Tillgate or Hearneville – the latter two being companies owned by politically-exposed persons Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, respectively.

The Malta Independent says that the report on the inquiry held by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja into the company Egrant has given “crystal clear” proof that the allegations against Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle Muscat were a “clear and elaborate attempt at a frame-up”, Muscat himself said.

Such a conclusion comes after the report, as read by Muscat, flanked by the Labour Party’s whole Parliamentary group, in a press conference on Sunday  morning, concluded that signatures on documents such as declarations of trust on this company were falsified, an act which is a criminal offence, Muscat reminded.  The person who falsified such declarations is, at the moment, not known, Muscat said.

Malta Today: Joseph Muscat has just accused former PN leader Simon Busuttil of having invested wholesale in this “lie”, in a bid to win power, and that his name will live on as a political failure and a participant in the biggest lie in Maltese political history. “Today, justice is being done with my country. I expect Simon Busuttil to resign from all his political posts in Malta and internationally. This is what I always said I would do. Now I want Busuttil to resign: he is the reason of an attempt at creating a political crisis. He had told me I could not occupy my post as Prime Minister on the basis of this calumny. So today I call on him to resign as MP. His only honourable way out is to resign. And I remind the current PN leader that he should remove Simon Busuttil from good governance spokesperson, and that he should ask him to resign. In the absence of this step, Delia would be tainting himself with this elaborate frame-up.”

The Malta Independent reports that the inquiry, led by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja, also did not find any evidence that the PM and his wife, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, or John Dalli were involved in corrupt practices or money laundering or suspect financial transactions deriving from the accounts of Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) in Azerbaijan, through Pilatus Bank, as alleged by slain blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Malta Today: Joseph Muscat breaks down in tears as he mentions his children and wife and what they endured during the publication of the allegations on Egrant.

The Times continues that the declarations of trust handed to contained falsified signatures, the inquiry found. Forged signatures were verified by a British forensic accounting firm, with the person whose signature was on the declarations, Jaqueline Alexander, also taking an oath stating that she had not drafted or signed any such declarations.

Whoever falsified the declarations of trust, the inquiry found, made use of information which was publicly available online.

The Malta Independent reports: The Nationalist Party has cancelled a planned interview on Net FM with PN Leader Adrian Delia following Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s announcement that the Egrant inquiry did not find evidence that the third Panama company belonged to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat or his wife Michelle.

Conclusions of Egrant Inquiry published

Main Conclusions of Published Egrant Inquiry can be downloaded here. 

Prime Minister to address Press Conference

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is to address a Press Conference following the completion of the Egrant inquiry.

What the Press said:

The Malta Independent on Sunday’s  headline is “Egrant ball in AG’s court as magistrate concludes inquiry into PM’s wife accusations”. It also adds “Publish it now say Muscat and Busuttil”. 

Il-Mument presents the position taken by the Nationalist Party and argues that the report has to be published in its entirety.

MaltaToday similarly says “Inquiry concluded, Nation awaits full publication” in its headline.

Illum says that “Egrant għand l-Avukat Ġenerali”, stressing the fact that the inquiry is at the Attorney General.

It-Torca asks Min se jkollu jirrizenja?, a pertinent question about who will resign after the inquiry, whether its Prime Minister Muscat (who said he will if any of the allegations are proven right or whether it will be Simon Busuttil, the former PN leader who made the allegations a key political battle note in the run up and during the last election campaign.

Il-Kullħadd says that now its the Moment of Truth and argues that either Joseph Muscat or Simon Busuttil will have to resign.

The Sunday Times emphasises the need for the publication of the Egrant inquiry.

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