Prime Minister Robert Abela’s office has refused to release information about the severance package given to his predecessor Joseph Muscat.

Times of Malta filed a freedom of information request in January asking for details about the package.

According to calculations by The Malta Independent, the termination package could reach €135,000 over a three-year period.

Instead of citing a legal reason under the FOI Act not to hand over the exact information about the termination agreement, the prime minister’s office said that “no specific agreement exists”.

“It is to be noted that all ministers and parliamentary secretaries who are no longer members of cabinet benefitted from [the] same scheme,” the PM’s office said.

Times of Malta has lodged a complaint about the response.

Dr Muscat has largely faded from public view after stepping down in January following intense pressure in the aftermath of businessman Yorgen Fenech’s arrest in connection with journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.

After the arrest, it was revealed that Mr Fenech had given the prime minister lavish gifts over the years.

All ministers who are no longer in cabinet benefited from the same scheme

Dr Muscat’s former right-hand man Keith Schembri has also been implicated in the murder.

According to testimony by self-confessed middleman Melvin Theuma, Mr Schembri helped Mr Fenech, a close friend of his, get away with the assassination.

Mr Schembri denies any wrongdoing.

A few weeks before his resignation, Dr Muscat was voted by the Organised Crime & Corruption Reporting Project as the 2019 man of the year.

The former prime minister continued to defend his friend Mr Schembri until his very last days in office.

Dr Muscat hit the headlines again recently after popping up in a meeting held between the government and Steward Healthcare.

The former prime minister reportedly acted as an intermediary for Steward, who are demanding more money from the government to operate three State hospitals.

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