‘PN engaging in character assassination, Bartolo acted immediately on corruption claims’
The Education Ministry has accused the Nationalist Party of embarking on a character assassination attempt on Minister Evarist Bartolo.
It was reacting to a PN press release issued on Wednesday, in which the party said that Mr Bartolo had “not lifted a finger in the wake of allegations of corruption involving his ministry.”
It was referring to the case of Edward Caruana, a former person of trust in the Education Ministry, who is embroiled in bribery claims.
In a statement the ministry said: “Education Minister Evarist Bartolo took immediate action by ordering an inquiry into the corruption allegations received by the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools towards the end of August.
“Once the investigation was concluded in the first days of September, the minister immediately informed the police. This was two months before the first newspaper story was published.
“The person in question was also removed from the position at the same time, so that the person would have nothing to do with the ministry’s work. An investigation by the Internal Audit & Investigations Department was also requested.
“It is therefore unjust for the Opposition to say that the minister did not act. Steps were taken immediately and without relevance to the person involved and his place of work.
“It is disappointing how MEP Therese Commodini Cachia signed such an unjust and untruthful statement. She is willing to ride on the Opposition’s wagon of lies as part of a character assassination campaign mounted against Minister Bartolo.
“In past legislatures, allegations of corruption were buried and left uninvestigated. This is the difference between this government and its predecessor.”