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Good evening

These are the main news from Malta as reported by the Malta’s main news portals.

Speaking during a political gathering in Gozo, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Sunday compared former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil to a “flat earther” for saying he still believed the Labour leader owned a secret Panama company despite a magisterial inquiry finding no evidence to support the claim.

In a glancing swipe at Nationalist MEP David Casa (see below), Dr Muscat said that among those passing on this information had better sort out their personal problems first.  In the first part of his speech, Dr Muscat spoke about the achievements in healthcare, as the Cabinet heard from Minister Chris Fearne at a Cabinet meeting held at the hospital last week. – Times of Malta The Malta Independent / One News

Nationalist MP David Casa on Sunday ‘categorically and unreservedly’ denied ‘obscene allegations’ by a former aide that he had taken drugs, and offered to take drug tests published by MaltaToday. Not only will I submit to a drug test but I will also commit to regular drug tests – on the condition the Labour Party parliamentary group agree to do the same.”  His staff also sprang to his defence, saying in a statement that they had never witnessed any of the allegations made.

The Nationalist Party said it does not tolerate any illegal behaviour from any of its members of parliament. Furthermore, it expects the highest of ethical standards in their conduct. “David Casa has categorically denied all allegations and has informed the party that he is seeking advice on whether he should take legal action,” the party said.

Times of Malta / Independent

A former aide of the Nationalist MEP David Casa has declared in a sworn affidavit the euro-parliamentarian’s cocaine habit between the years 2009 and 2017 during which the two had a close relationship. In his declaration, which this newspaper has seen, the former aide – describing himself as a whistleblower – says in unequivocal terms that he is a loyal Nationalist who has the interest of the party at heart. –

The alleged telephone call between ship owner Pierre Darmanin and Economy Minister Chris Cardona shortly after the former spoke with Daphne Caruana Galizia did not take place, according to local and foreign sources close to the investigation. On the other hand, Darmanin really did call brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, two of the three men accused of killing the journalist, shortly after the phone call with the journalist. The Malta Independent 

If the government cannot undertake the necessary constitutional changes, Opposition Party Leader Adrian Delia has said that they, the Opposition, will do them themselves. Following the reports that Malta has asked for assistance to review the country’s legal and institutional structures from the European Commission for Democracy through Law, which is better known as the Venice Commission, and is the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matter – Delia has called this move by the Justice Minister Owen Bonnici “shameful”.  The Malta IndependentNet News

In an exclusive interview on Newsline on RTK103FM, BBC journalist John Sweeney said that free speech, democracy and the rule of law are currently under attack and that it is the job of the ‘trouble-making’ journalists that do their job without fail that are the defenders of these paramount rights. Newsbook 

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