President George Vella brushed off questions on whether he feels any sense of responsibility regarding the fraudulent hospitals deal, saying he will wait for an “objective report” with all the facts and figures before speaking out.
“We are waiting for objective reports on facts and figures, and then we speak after that,” Vella told Times of Malta on Friday.
It is the first time Vella has spoken since the court annulled the controversial deal that had handed the running of St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo General hospitals to a private operator. The court labelled the deal as “fraudulent” and ordered that the hospitals be returned to the government.
The hospitals’ privatisation deal was originally signed with Vitals Global Healthcare back in 2014 when Vella was a member of Joseph Muscat’s cabinet as foreign minister before he was appointed president.
'If a deal goes wrong, this is not that one can say was premeditated'
Earlier this week, Steward appealed the judgment and submitted a termination notice to the government, citing “non-rectifiable defaults on the part of the government of Malta”.
The government said it was ready to immediately take over the running of the hospitals.
When Vella was asked if he had ever objected to the privatisation of the three hospitals, he said studies and preparations were made for the deals at the time.
“If a deal goes wrong, this is not that one can say was premeditated,” said Vella, who is a doctor by profession and was known to be a mentor for Muscat.
He said there will be more investigations into how much money was spent on the deals, highlighting that Prime Minister Robert Abela has also asked the Auditor General to investigate government spending on the hospital deals.
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