Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech has demanded an apology from the Labour Party after the husband of a former PN minister was again cleared of graft allegations.

On Friday an appeals court confirmed that Anthony Debono, husband of former Gozo Minister Giovanna Debono, was not guilty of fraud and misappropriation – charges he faced in 2015 in what was dubbed a “works-for-votes” scandal.

A court initially cleared him of those charges in March, but the attorney general had appealed that decision. 

Following Friday’s appeals court decision, PN leader Bernard Grech said that justice had prevailed.

He said the Debonos had been the victims of a “campaign of lies” fuelled by the Labour Party, intended purely to tarnish their reputations. 

“I therefore expect Prime Minister Robert Abela to immediately apologise on behalf of the Labour Party for the character assassination that Anthony and Giovanna Debono faced,” Grech wrote on Facebook.

Abela, who is a lawyer by profession, was the legal representative of the whistleblower whose allegations were found to be unsubstantiated by the court. 

When Debono was first charged in 2015, then-prime minister Joseph Muscat had claimed that the PN had ignored the allegations concerning Debono for more than a year and accused Simon Busuttil and Chris Said of trying to cover up for him.

Busuttil was PN leader at the time while Said was and remains a PN MP.

Muscat had claimed that the allegations were “just the tip of the iceberg”. 

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