‘PN en­gag­ing in char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion, Bartolo acted im­me­di­ately on cor­rup­tion claims’

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.”

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