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Updated: Police should investigate allegations of deleted e-mails - Muscat

Any information of irregularities should be passed on to authorities - government

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Allegations that government IT officials deleted e-mails which may be crucial to the investigation into Rita Schembri, the director of the Internal Audit and Investigations Department, should be investigated by the police, Labour leader Joseph Muscat said this morning.

Speaking during a political activity in Mosta, Dr Muscat referred to allegations that that as soon as word of the investigation became public, IT officials deleted e-mails from computers in Ms Schembri’s government office.

He said that this claim should be investigated not just by the auditor general but also by the police.

Such a situation, Dr Muscat said, was not tolerable in a European country.

“We have to be Europeans in Malta,” he said, adding that Malta also had to be strong in its negotiations with the EU.

In a statement in the afternoon, the government said it expected all those who might have any information of irregularities, including the leader of the Opposition, to take such information to the responsible authorities, including the police, so that it could be investigated.

The government's position was consistent. Each report and/or allegation had to be investigated by the responsible authorities, including the police.

During the activity, Dr Muscat also spoke about the budget to be presented on Wednesday saying the Opposition did not know what would happen during the vote but it did not want to play with the country’s stability and wanted to put pensioners’ students’, families’, investors’ workers’ and employers’ minds at rest.

A new Labour government, he said, would retain the basis of the budget to be announced with all its positive points.

Labour was confident, he said, that the people would be judging the government not just on what they would be promised in this budget but on the full five years of the legislature.

The difference between this government and Labour, Dr Muscat said, was responsibility.

Unlike this government, Labour understood the economy and would not promise to reduce the deficit and then allow it to explode.

Dr Muscat referred to Commissioner Tonio Borg’s nomination, saying the PL had warned Dr Gonzi that his choice was problematic but the PL delegation nevertheless supported the choice and had it not been for the work of Maltese PL MEPs, Dr Borg’s nomination would not have been approved.

The PL, however, could not allow Malta to go through another humiliation in the EU.

“We worked hard for Dr Borg to be approved and we are not sorry,” Dr Muscat said.

Dr Muscat also referred to the EU budget negotiations and said that Malta was not getting less money because it was a victim of its own success, as the Prime Minister was claiming but because poorer countries had joined the union, placing Malta in a difficult position.

The PL, he said, had always managed to negotiate the best deals for Malta doubling, tripling and more what others would have managing to get and that is what it would continue to do.

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