Outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat plans to publish a list of all the gifts he received during his tenure. 

Sources close to Dr Muscat said the list would be made public once he stepped down from office on January 12.  

Concerns were raised last week following revelations that Yorgen Fenech, who stands charged with complicity in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, had gifted Dr Muscat two luxury watches and three bottles of some of the most expensive wine in the world.  

Dr Muscat has declined to comment directly on the matter, however, sources in his office said that “as is established practice, the prime minister will be publishing a full list of all gifts he has received while in office”.  

Times of Malta is informed that the three bottles of wine are in the State’s possession and today form part of the Girgenti Estate. 

However, sources responsible for the logistics of former prime minister Lawrence Gonzi’s secretariat during the previous administration found it odd that such gifts were in possession of the State. 

One source said that Dr Gonzi’s secretariat followed strict protocol when receiving State gifts to the prime minister. Each gift was registered and marked with a sticker to indicate the source and occasion. 

Such gifts would then remain the property of one of three ‘State Houses’ held by the prime minister, Auberge de Castille, Girgenti Palace or Villa Francia. 

The Register of Incoming State Gifts was part of the documentation held in the prime minister’s private secretariat. 

“State gifts are given on behalf of the state and not on behalf of a business or a businessperson, business partner or business friend. Businesspersons do not give state gifts. State gifts are also not given at birthday parties unless the birthday party is being organised by the State, such as when the Queen has her birthday ball,” the source said. 

It was pointed out that Girgenti Palace was small and typically only small and intimate events were organised inside. 

“The wine was probably a gift to return the compliment to the Prime Minister for having included him in a group of close and select persons for a special activity.

The significance of being invited to a close and intimate event is as important if not more so than the gift itself,” the source said.

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