Former minister Konrad Mizzi has been admitted to hospital and has therefore missed a parliamentary committee meeting that was to continue hearing his Electrogas testimony on Wednesday.
Sources told Times of Malta that Mizzi was admitted to hospital on Tuesday and has yet to be discharged. They said Mizzi's condition is a serious one that might require him to stay in hospital for days.
It is understood he was admitted with fever and peritonitis, the swelling of the tissue that lines the abdomen.
The former energy minister was set to attend a Public Accounts Committee hearing on Wednesday afternoon for what would have been his third appearance before MPs.
He had previously failed to appear before the committee on four occasions, labelling it a "partisan attack" on the Electrogas energy project that he said had brought “many benefits" to the country.
Later on Wednesday, the PAC confirmed it had been informed of Mizzi's hospitalisation by his lawyers, who also said the former minister would be back to testify once given clearance to do so by medical experts.
The committee agreed it would summon Mizzi for next Wednesday's session where he will be expected to finish off the oral presentation he started two weeks ago and then face questions.
The PAC is hearing Mizzi's testimony as part of its probe into the Electrogas power station deal. Mizzi spearheaded the deal during his time as energy minister.
He now serves as an independent MP in parliament, having been expelled from the Labour Party's parliamentary group in 2020.
So far Mizzi has not faced any questions on the deal.
Last week, the committee was forced to call a recess to let heads cool after the session descended into a shouting match. In the first sitting, held two weeks ago, Mizzi informed the committee he would be delivering an introductory speech.
The lengthy speech spilled over to the second session, prompting Opposition MPs on the committee to insist they would still be asking Mizzi questions, even if it took a number of sessions to do so.
The first session was also regularly interrupted by heated exchanges between Mizzi and the Opposition MPs.
Mizzi only agreed to appear before the PAC after the Opposition said it would be seeking a vote in parliament's plenary, obliging him to testify.