Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat expected to step down imminently – PM Muscat says he was blackmailed over Presidential Pardon
The Times of Malta is reporting that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat informed associates on Friday that he intends to announce his resignation imminently. Story was also confirmed by Newsbook and LovinMalta
His decision to leave was precipitated by the political and legal crisis brought about by the Daphne Caruana Galizia investigation debacle.
Dr Muscat visited President George Vella on Friday morning at San Anton Palace, where he is believed to have given notice of his intention to step down.
Sources said Dr Muscat will be delivering a televised address to the country after Yorgen Fenech is charged in court with the murder of the 53-year-old journalist.
Murder suspect Yorgen Fenech has named Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in his sworn police statement, Lovin Malta is informed.
The PL’s political activity that was set to be held in Fgura this Sunday has now been cancelled.
The decision also follows yesterday’s stormy Cabinet meeting that refused a pardon for Yorgen Fenech.
High-ranking Labour Party officials are said to have spoken to Muscat about the political crisis this morning, spelling out their concerns of how things were developing.
In a statement the Prime Minister said that he’s reported to police a message suggesting he was blackmailed over the presidential pardon.
He said he received a message saying that unless he advised in favour of a presidential pardon, a testimony would be given by Yorgen Fenech to implicate that he had two telephone calls with him months ago.
“No such calls were ever made. This can easily be verified,” it said. The Prime said his last encounter with Mr Fenech was in February 2019.
“The Prime Minister refused an initial request for pardon by Yorgen Fenech following advice by the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner. The Cabinet refused a second request under similar advice after the Prime Minister withdrew from the meeting.”