Prime Minister Robert Abela will wait for conclusions of investigations before taking any kind of action against any of his MPs, he said on Wednesday. 

He was replying to Times of Malta's questions about whether he is concerned that three Labour MPs - Chris Cardona, Konrad Mizzi and Edward Scicluna - are subjects of a criminal inquiry into the privatisation of three state hospitals while former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is being probed by the Permanent Commission Against Corruption. 

On the latter, Dr Abela said he was not informed about the probe into Dr Muscat, as commission proceedings are secret.

Dr Abela was sworn in as prime minister on Monday, replacing Dr Muscat.

Robert Abela speaks to the press. Video: Jonathan Borg

Dr Abela also insisted that that the inquiry into the hospital privatisation deal was an in genere inquiry and not a criminal investigation. Such inquiries, he said, were "fact-finding" missions, while a criminal investigation is carried out by the police. 

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"Once there is a conclusion and something is found, action will be taken but at the moment there's just allegations. I cannot take action just because someone makes an allegation. If someone makes an allegation on all 37 MPs then I'll end up without a parliamentary group."

Dr Abela also denied having any contact with former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri, whose phone number came back online this week at around the time the new prime minister was being sworn in. 

Asked about the choice of his new cabinet, Dr Abela said there will be announcements in due course.