Joseph Muscat wants Vitals inquiry magistrate to step down
Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has called for the recusal of Magistrate Gabriella Vella, who is leading a corruption investigation into the hospitals deal. In a legal submission on Thursday, Muscat insisted that the inquiry should be transferred to another individual who can ensure both the perception and actuality of impartiality, given the current political nature of the case. Muscat has faced renewed scrutiny after reports by Times of Malta and its media partners connected him to a Swiss company formerly known as VGH Europe. The investigation is examining suspicious payments amounting to €60,000 received by Muscat from Switzerland. (Times of Malta)
PN submits ‘new evidence’ on Steward scandal to Court
The Nationalist Party has presented additional information in court that it received from a whistleblower involved in the hospitals’ concession agreement. MP Mark Anthony Sammut stated that the new evidence exposes further instances of “fraud and collusion between public officials and businesspeople.” Alongside PN leader Bernard Grech and three other Opposition MPs, Sammut submitted four volumes of documentation to Magistrate Gabriella Vella, who is leading the investigation into the hospitals deal.
Malta finalising policy on renewable – Energy Minister
Malta is currently finalising a policy document on the deployment of offshore renewable energy systems, Energy Minister Miriam Dalli has told the MED9 summit. The document aims to identify suitable areas for implementing offshore renewable energy projects. The MED9 meeting, which brings together energy ministers from Southern European countries in the Mediterranean, is being hosted by Malta for the first time. Minister Miriam Dalli highlighted the importance of increased investment in renewables, aligning with the EU’s vision and the revised Renewable Energy Directive that has significantly raised the ambition. She also noted positive progress in Malta’s renewable energy sector, with Eurostat figures indicating that the country has already surpassed its national 2030 target by the end of 2021. (Maltatoday)
The corrupt are turning against each other, PN leader tells crowd
Opposition leader Bernard Grech rallied his supporters, urging them not to lose hope in the pursuit of truth and justice. Speaking in front of parliament, Grech emphasized the need to unite against corruption, highlighting that those involved in wrongdoing are now turning against each other. The protest, which took place on Wednesday evening, was attended by former leader Adrian Delia, several MPs, and party officials, all showing solidarity in the fight against corruption. The demonstration was organized in response to a critical report from the National Audit Office (NAO), which once again condemned the Labour party’s handling of the Vitals-Steward hospitals privatization deal.
Inflation drops slightly in April
In April, the annual inflation rate based on the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) in Malta was 6.4%, showing a decrease of 0.7 percentage points compared to March. The National Statistics Office reported that the highest inflation rates were observed in the food and alcoholic beverages category, followed by the equipment and home maintenance category. Conversely, the lowest inflation rates were seen in clothing, footwear, and communication prices. (TVM)
Vitals director claims Keith Schembri threatened him ‘to end like Daphne’
Vitals Global Healthcare director Ram Tumuluri is seeking whistleblower protection in the US as he reveals alleged coercion, threats, and corrupt practices by Joseph Muscat’s government in relation to the hospitals deal. In a comprehensive 500-page filing, Tumuluri claims to have been targeted by Muscat’s government, aiming to remove him from Malta in favor of a predetermined agreement with American operators, Steward Health Care. Tumuluri further alleges that during a meeting in December 2017, Schembri warned him not to end up in a situation similar to that of Daphne, implying the risks associated with exposing the truth. The former Chief of Staff to Muscat has denied these claims. (Times of Malta)