The police will not say if an investigation into payments received by former prime minister Joseph Muscat is under way.
“Kindly note that, in view of article 87 of the Police Act (Chapter 164), we are not in a position to confirm, or otherwise, such information,” a police spokesman said last night.
Sources told Times of Malta the magistrate carrying out the VGH inquiry is “looking into” the €60,000 “consultancy fees” that Muscat was paid by a company that received millions from Steward Health Care during the firm’s takeover of the hospitals deal.
The magistrate is being assisted by court experts and the police’s financial crimes investigations department.
Muscat received €60,000 from Swiss company that received millions from Steward Health Care
Times of Malta revealed on Sunday how Muscat received €60,000 over four months from a Swiss company that, in turn, received millions from Steward Health Care.
One large payment of €2.49 million was made by Steward to the Swiss company on the same day it finalised the takeover of the hospitals concession from Vitals Global Healthcare.
That same year, Accutor AG paid some of the key foreign players behind the original VGH deal.
Steward Healthcare has yet to comment on the reason behind its payments to Accutor AG.
The government had controversially handed VGH the keys to three public hospitals, despite them having no relevant experience in healthcare.
Up until last year, Muscat was still defending the deal, despite the National Audit Office concluding that it was the result of collusion between the government and the VGH investors.
Times of Malta uncovered how Muscat too received payments from Accutor AG in 2020, in a consultancy agreement drawn up a month after he resigned as prime minister.
The former PM insists the payments were for legitimate consultancy work
Muscat has denied any wrongdoing, insisting the four payments of €15,000 were for legitimate consultancy work.
Two former Accutor AG partners have raised red flags to Times of Malta about the man behind the consultancy deal with Muscat.
Kamal Sharma and Tyrone Greenshields resigned as directors of Swiss-based company Accutor AG after growing suspicious about their former partner Wasay Bhatti’s activities.
The suspicions and subsequent departure from Accutor AG pre-date the €60,000 in payments wired by Accutor AG and a related company to Muscat last year.
Sharma and Greenshields said they remain at the disposal of any authority wishing to investigate Bhatti, while staying within the legal scope of GDPR guidelines.
Bhatti has denied any wrongdoing.