The Nationalist Party has accused the prime minister of 'lying to incite violence' after remarks he made outside the law courts on Thursday.

Abela made his comments after a sitting in the case instituted by the PN demanding that the government recover €400 million given to Vitals/Steward in the hospitals deal.

Mr Justice Giovanni Grixti abstained from continuing to hear the case last month after his partner - lawyer Yanika Bugeja - was appointed to act as curator representing Steward Assets Management Malta on the deed of rescission of ground rent on the lands concerning the public hospitals. 

Mr Justice Toni Abela took over on Thursday after both the PN and the government's side said they had no objection to him.

In his remarks Abela criticised the PN for instituting the case, arguing that it hindered international arbitration currently under way. 

He also blamed the PN for the recusal of Mr Justice Grixti, claiming that the PN had 'put a pistol to his head'.

The PN said this was a false claim, coming from a prime minister who over the past few weeks had repeatedly criticised the courts.

The prime minister's choice of words, the party said, was aimed at inciting violent retaliation against the Opposition leader Bernard Grech, shadow minister Adrian Delia and anyone forming part of the PN.

"Robert Abela's words are unacceptable in a democratic society and show up Abela as an immature, dangerous and undemocratic politician," the PN said.

It said it was holding Abela personally responsible for whatever damages may be suffered.  

The party also expressed confidence n all the judges and magistrates.  

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