Malta police search house of former Prime Minister Muscat


VALLETTA (Reuters) – Police searched the residence of former Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Wednesday as half of a probe into alleged corruption in a deal struck by his authorities that handed administration of three state hospitals to the little-known Vitals Global Healthcare group in 2016.

Muscat confirmed the police search in a Facebook publish, saying officers had turned as much as search his house at 7 a.m. and had additionally confiscated his cell phone in addition to these of his spouse and teenage daughters.

Times of Malta reported in November how the former prime minister obtained 60,000 euros ($68,000) from Accutor AG, a Swiss firm linked to U.S. group Steward Health Care, which took over the hospitals contract from Vitals Global Healthcare in 2018.

The alleged funds have been included within the corruption probe, however Muscat has repeatedly insisted he had not carried out something flawed.

“I used to be paid for consultancy work that was carried out after I left workplace, work which was not related to Malta or to hospitals, and was absolutely documented and on which I paid tax,” he stated on Wednesday.

Times of Malta reported that police have been at Muscat’s residence within the rural village of Burmarrad, within the north of Malta, for over three hours.

Muscat stated he was solely ‘half stunned’ by the search, since he had been informed that an opposition MP and lawyer had reportedly made remarks a couple of search in the last few days. The search, he stated was ‘useless theatrics’ and the truth that even the cell phones of his teenage daughters had been seized was extreme.

He stated that as quickly because the story about his funds broke in November, he had ready a file of paperwork, prepared at hand to a Justice of the Peace, and he did in order quickly because the police turned up.

The police haven’t commented.

Muscat resigned in January 2020 after media revealed that he and his chief of workers had an in depth friendship with prime businessman Yorgen Fenech, who’s awaiting trial for complicity within the 2017 automobile bomb homicide of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Muscat has not been linked to the homicide investigation.

($1 = 0.8810 euro)

(Reporting by Christopher Scicluna; enhancing by Jonathan Oatis)

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