Labour supporters at Wednesday’s workers' day mass meeting are convinced Joseph Muscat is innocent and the hospitals inquiry is but a ploy to destroy him.

“The hatred there is for Joseph Muscat and Robert Abela is unbelievable,” supporter Dominic Bonett told Times of Malta in a vox pop shortly before the prime minister took the stage at the event in Valletta.

“Shame on them. Malta cannot be better. Ask families and they’ll tell you. Whatever they do, we will stand by Joseph. Long live Labour (Viva l-Labour).”

Video: Jonathan Borg

Another supporter – Joe Demicoli – said he is not worried about a Muscat prosecution because he did nothing wrong.

“Of course he did a lot of things – but good things,” he said.

Anger over timing

People were especially angry about the timing of the inquiry conclusion. 

First, the magistrate took too long to get it done and then dropped it right before the election, several argued, echoing a narrative that is being pushed by the PL.

Supporters were asked to react to news that a magisterial inquiry into the hospitals deal was concluded last week and could lead to Muscat's criminal prosecution.

Muscat has already said he has "no doubt" he will end up facing criminal charges in the case.

“In my opinion she’s [the magistrate] biased and she did it to hinder Labour from winning the fourth MEP seat,” Joseph Azzopardi said.

“Why didn’t she at least leave it till after the election so that it wouldn’t be as harmful to the PL?”

He did acknowledge Muscat or someone in government could have possibly broken the law somehow and said if they did, they will be found guilty. But it was not fair for the media and the PN to cast a dark shadow over Muscat and to present him as a corrupt man.

'Court has become a PN club'

Another man – also called Joseph Azzopardi – thinks the courthouse might just as well have the badge of the PN on its front door.

“You see those columns there?” he said, pointing to the courthouse a few metres away.

“They should stick PN badges on it because it has become a PN club. The PN headqaurters is broke – they don’t even have enough money to pay electricity bills – so they found another club which is called ‘the court’. It’s all corrupt.”

Joan Micallef is worried that Muscat is arrested because it would be an injustice to him, seeing all the good he brought to the country be overshadowed by “their lies”.

'What matters is what's in the pocket'

77-year-old Tony Briffa does not even care if Muscat did something wrong. To him, what matters is only what is in his pocket.

“I was born in a poor family and now I have a pension of €1,200. When did we ever see all that money?! And you expect me to vote for the Nationalists? Whatever they say, it’s here that matters,” he said, slapping the pocket on his trousers.

“I don’t care. I only care about what I’m getting in my pocket.”

Carmel Micallef answered about Muscat as if he were asked about Jesus.

“What did this man do wrong? He always fed the hungry and provided for those who were thirsty,” he said.

“He gave us dignity. Why are they going to prosecute him? He is not guilty of anything and these are all lies that were made up about him.”

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