Updated with video
The Prime Minister has played down the significance of inquiring magistrate Aaron Bugeja’s decision to refer allegations of graft against his chief of staff to another magistrate.
Addressing supporters in Għaxaq this evening, Joseph Muscat said the magistrate had informed Opposition leader Simon Busuttil – who made the allegations against Keith Schembri – that the “papers produced were unrelated” to the Egrant inquiry.
Magistrate Bugeja was tasked to investigate allegations that Dr Muscat’s wife, Michelle, was the owner of Panama company Egrant. It was the Prime Minister who sought the magisterial inquiry after the allegations were made on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog last month.
Subsequently, Dr Busuttil appeared in front of the magistrate with information of alleged graft and money laundering committed by Mr Schembri and Nexia BT owner Brian Tonna.
Appearing upbeat and fired up, Dr Muscat told supporters that the magistrate’s decision confirmed that Dr Busuttil did not produce proof against him and his wife. He was given a standing ovation.
Dr Muscat again reiterated his hope that Magistrate Bugeja would conclude the investigation in his regard as quickly as possible.
“We accept these investigations because they will establish the truth,” he said, challenging Dr Busuttil to refer accusations that PN MEPs had misused EU funds to the Brussels anti-fraud agency.
While going through the list of proposals made so far by the party, Dr Muscat criticised the Opposition leader for proposing things but not saying how they will be financed or implemented.
He was referring to the PN’s proposal for a Gozo relocation grant, details of which Dr Busuttil said would be released after the election.