Updated 2.30pm with PL reaction

Joseph Muscat’s position as Prime Minister is no longer tenable as he is being held hostage by criminality, Opposition leader Adrian Delia has said.

“The Prime Minister is aiding criminals, blessing them, and is institutionalising corruption. This is the perversion of democracy,” he remarked when interviewed on Net FM on Saturday morning.

Commenting on the investigation into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, he said that the Prime Minister’s failure to take action against his chief of staff Keith Schembri or Minister Konrad Mizzi following the arrest of businessman Yorgen Fenech, meant that Dr Muscat was either also involved in corruption, or that the two were tying his hands.

“We have a situation whereby we know that a company [17 Black, belonging to Mr Fenech] was to be used to channel taxpayer’s money to Schembri and Mizzi,” he said.

Yet the fact that the Prime Minister has not sacked them meant that he was “being held hostage” by criminality, and consequently his position was no longer tenable, Dr Delia said.

Muscat's many roles 

The Opposition leader also lashed out at the Prime Minister for the manner in which investigations were being handled, which he said was testament to the manner in which the separation between State institutions had been dismantled.

He said Dr Muscat was acting as the police commissioner by giving daily briefings, the head of the armed forces by ordering them to intercept Mr Fenech’s yacht a few days ago, and the Attorney General by deciding himself on whether to grant a presidential pardon.

He also took issue with the Prime minister’s declaration that he had been privy to certain details for two years, but was not in a position to speak up.

Was he aware of things which could have prevented this murder? Why he did not speak up? Should he had been privy to certain details in the first place?- Adrian Delia

“Was he aware of things which could have prevented this murder? Why he did not speak up? Should he had been privy to certain details in the first place?” Dr Delia asked.

Meeting with President George Vella

Commenting on his meeting with President George Vella last Friday, the Opposition leader said his intention was to convey concerns that the separation of powers was being greatly undermined.

“The situation has reached an unacceptable stage, and is hindering democracy. After seeking constitutional advice, I met with the President to express my concerns in an attempt seek a way out of this precarious situation,” he said.

However, certain details of this meeting could not be divulged due to the sensitive nature of the matters debated, he said.

“This undermining of democracy means that Malta has an illegitimate government,” the Opposition leader added.

PL reacts

The PL criticised Dr Delia for not acting like an Opposition leader during such sensitive times. The PN leader was adamant on kicking off partisan arguments that hindered investigations, it said in a statement.

"Adrian Delia needs to understand that the illegitimate ones are those without the support of the majority of the electorate. The government has the support of the people also because it respects and protects the institutions, ensuring that justice is served."

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