Former prime minister Joseph Muscat said that accusations of bribery made against him in connection with the hospitals' scandal are "laughable" and "completely made up".

On Tuesday it was revealed that Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri, former minister Konrad Mizzi and 19 other people and entities will be charged with a host of serious crimes related to corruption and the hospitals privatisation deal. 

Negotiations surrounding the deal to privatise three state hospitals were handled by Muscat’s government. That deal was annulled by a court last year. 

In a Facebook post, Muscat said had the charges against him not been so serious, they would have been “laughable”. 

“Without hearing me out, the authorities have decided to accuse me and stain me with corruption, money laundering, that I set up a criminal organisation, and that I took €30 million,” Muscat said in a Facebook post. 

Reports that some €30 million in assets had been frozen from Muscat began swirling at the time that the criminal charges had been filed, however, the figure remained unconfirmed. 

In a section of the legal document where prosecutors listed asset freezing requests, the amount of €30 million was listed in the same line as the names of Muscat, Schembri, Mizzi and four others. 

“These are a set of inventions that cannot be believed except by those who came up with them, just like Egrant.”

The former prime minister said he is looking forward to “destroy” accusations built on “fantasy and lies”. 

In a warning to those applauding the charges being brought against him, Muscat said it would take years for the case to be decided, but reminded critics that “he who laughs last, laughs best”. 

Muscat, Mizzi and Schembri have been charged with money laundering, bribery and trading in influence, among others. If found guilty, they could each be facing a jail term of up to 18 years and a fine of €2.5 million. 

In an Instagram post, Muscat's wife Michelle uploaded a picture of the couple with the caption "battling rough seas have always been our forte".

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