Bank of Valletta was asked on Sunday how it had loaned €36m to Steward Healthcare and what due diligence was made of an operation  which has been proven to be a fraudulent one.

The questions were asked by independent election candidate Arnold Cassaola in a reaction to Friday's court judgment striking down the government's hospital management deal with Vitals, subsequently taken over by Steward. 

"The Vitals Inquiry shows that BOV, that has government majority shareholding,  ended up being the only bank to provide financing to Steward.   Where was the due diligence done by BOV? How did the Bank come to its conclusion to finance an operation which has been proven to be a fraudulent one?" Cassola asked.

"What happens to the €36 million already loaned to Steward now that the whole contract has been declared null and void?"

Cassola observed that BOV had already served to prop up Electrogas with a huge multi-million loan in its shady deal with the government of Malta.   

"This subservience to government by BOV should cease immediately. Previous directors should answer for their behaviour, the present ones should resign," he said.

The BOV loans to Steward were guaranteed by the government.

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