EGRANT RE­MARKS

Delia says peo­ple are free to ex­press what they be­lieve

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Ju­lian Bon­nici

Op­po­si­tion leader Adrian Delia has re­frained from pass­ing judg­ment on re­marks made by his pre­de­ces­sor, Si­mon Busut­til, in Par­lia­ment, say­ing that peo­ple are free to ex­press what they be­lieve.

Delia was asked to com­ment af­ter Busut­til said in Par­lia­ment that he still be­lieved the Panamanian com­pany Egrant to be­long to Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat.

Delia re­it­er­ated that this was Busut­til’s per­sonal po­si­tion, and not that of the PN.

The fun­da­men­tal ques­tion, Delia said, was that this was all brought on by the “ram­pant spec­u­la­tion fu­elled by the at­tor­ney gen­eral’s in­sis­tence” not pub­lish­ing the en­tire Egrant in­quiry re­port.

He also said that by giv­ing “the prime min­is­ter, his wife, their lawyers, the jus­tice min­is­ter, and his lawyers” a copy of the re­port, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Pe­ter Grech was putting the coun­try through “tur­moil” and fu­elling “un­nec­es­sary” par­lia­men­tary de­bates.

Pressed as to whether he would con­demn Busut­til’s ac­cu­sa­tions that the prime min­is­ter and his wife were the own­ers of Egrant and that the former had some­how been in­volved in ev­i­dence tam­per­ing, Delia stood by his po­si­tion, adding that it was the prime min­is­ter who had ini­tially made se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions about Busut­til by call­ing him a “fraud­ster” and im­ply­ing that he was in­volved in the fal­si­fi­ca­tion of sig­na­tures.

“Busut­til is free to be­lieve what he wants; be­ing part of a po­lit­i­cal party does not mean that you sim­ply lose your brain and stop hold­ing cer­tain be­liefs; it is not some­thing that I need to sanc­tion,” he said.

On the is­sue of Egrant it­self, he said that the in­quiry had merely es­tab­lished that a cer­tain in­di­vid­ual did not own the com­pany, ex­plain­ing that the dis­cov­ery of its ac­tual owner would end spec­u­la­tion and al­low the coun­try to start re­build­ing its rep­u­ta­tion abroad.

Delia then made ref­er­ence to a state­ment he had re­leased ear­lier in the day, re­quest­ing the gov­ern­ment to ap­point a “spe­cial, au­ton­o­mous and in­de­pen­dent” com­mis­sion with the fol­low­ing terms of ref­er­ence: Iden­tify what the short­com­ings in the pro­vi­sion of pro­tec­tion to as­sas­si­nated jour­nal­ist Daphne Caru­ana Gal­izia; in­ves­ti­gate what the au­thor­i­ties knew or could have known about the threats she faced and; in­ves­ti­gate whether these au­thor­i­ties failed to act on what they knew to pro­tect the jour­nal­ist.

He also com­mented on the scenes in Par­lia­ment Wed­nes­day, say­ing that he, along with Prime Min­is­ter Mus­cat, the Speaker of the House and the Pres­i­dent, had called for or­der and bet­ter be­hav­iour.

Photo: Martin Agius/ Net Me­dia

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