Joseph Muscat said he has nothing to be afraid of after a court on Friday annulled the Vitals hospital deal on fraud grounds

The former Prime Minister claimed the contract was annulled on what he called "civil fraud" grounds, rather than corruption. 

The former PM said he welcomes any investigations into the hospital deal. Video: Chris Sant Fournier.

Muscat said he welcomes all investigations into the deal, after Times of Malta went to his government-funded Floriana office to seek his reaction. 

"It was annulled on the grounds of civil fraud. Maybe you should look up the definition."

Muscat said all decisions linked to the deal were endorsed by cabinet, with legal advice also being sought. 

He refused to say if Prime Minister Robert Abela, who has acted as his legal advisor in the past, gave any advice on the deal. 

Many of the key players in the Vitals deal, including Muscat, went on to receive payments from a Swiss payroll company called Accutor. 

Muscat again denied the payments were linked to corruption, insisting the money received was for legitimate work carried out. 

The Accutor connections.The Accutor connections.

All proof of this work was given to the inquiring magistrate, Muscat continued. 

The former PM's house was searched last year on suspicions that the Accutor payments could have been a cover for corruption in the Vitals deal. 

Muscat started receiving payments form Accutor as part of a €15,000-per-month contract he signed just weeks after resigning as prime minister in January 2020. 

The ex-prime minister confirmed that multiple versions of the contract exist, saying this is part of the normal negotiation process. 

In an earlier Facebook post, Muscat said he always acted in the public interest and said he welcomed and encouraged any further investigation into the concession.

Muscat said he respects the court’s decision, although he needs more time to analyse the judgement in full.

Court slams government

While handing down the ruling, Judge Francesco Depasquale had harsh words for the government, saying that Vitals were "incredibly" granted an additional 4.5 years to fulfil their obligations, despite it being evident that they were failing to deliver on their promises. 

Depasqule said that even after being granted this extension, Vitals still did not meet the obligations they had committed themselves to.

Muscat and former health Minister Konrad Mizzi have both stood by the deal in the past, insisting they acted in the public’s best interest.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.