Updated - Letters show Muscat knew of 'white powder' case despite denial - PN
Updated - Adds first letter and reply
The PN has evidence to show that it was not true that Joseph Muscat had not known of the 'white powder' case in a Labour Party Club, PN Deputy leader Simon Busuttil and General Secretary Paul Borg Olivier said today.
Speaking at a press conference, Dr Borg Olivier noted that Toni Abela had denied informing Labour leader Joseph Muscat of the goings on in a Labour Party club about the cutting of a 'white block'.
Dr Muscat had also denied knowledge, adding in comments to The Sunday Times that he would have acted differently from Dr Abela had he known.
In the 2010 recording, revealed last Friday, Dr Abela was heard saying he sacked the Labour club president after this person found and disposed of “white powder” but did not go to the police because “only God knows what would have happened”. Dr Abela later clarified with The Times that it was the club barman who had been sacked after the president reported seeing someone suspicious in the kitchen.
"Toni Abela and Joseph Muscat are both not saying the truth, they are lying about this case as not only was the leader of the opposition informed but he was well informed a few days after the event," Dr Borg Olivier said.
He screened video clips where Dr Abela denied informing Dr Muscat, and Dr Muscat denied knowing of the case.
Despite such denials, Dr Borg Olivier said, the PN had in its possession, a letter sent to Dr Muscat on August 7, 2009.
The writer of the letter told Dr Muscat that he had written to him, a month after the case, because he (Dr Muscat) had been due to speak to Dr Abela and then reply to him.
He regretted that the party had not acted well and had not interviewed him over the case.
"You decided against me without me being present."
He said that on June 7 as supporters were celebrating the MEP election victory, he was behind the bar with another man. Two young people went into the kitchen and produced a quantity of white powder. The president of the club caught them red handed.
The youths told the president that he was not involved.
Yet the writer regretted that he was the one who was blamed and he was dismissed by the club. He also regretted that the father of one of the youths, a member of the club committee, had acted against him.
On August 11, 2009 Dr Muscat's personal assistant wrote back saying that Dr Muscat had received and read the letter.
This proved, Dr Borg Olivier said, how Dr Muscat had not said the truth when he denied knowledge of the case.
He said that on February 20, 2012 just before local council elections, the same person again wrote to Dr Muscat and urged him to stop a particular committee member from being a party candidate because of his involvement in the white powder case. He also told Dr Muscat that 'you know everything about the case' as he had written to him.
The writer also complained that although, after insistence from a colleague, Dr Muscat had met him, the only solution he offered him was to pose for a picture with him to show confidence.
"I know what I have been through, the trauma I have suffered. Were it for the other person, I would have ended up in the mental hospital or the prison, he said.
Dr Muscat replied through his assistant Raymond Barbara on the next day to acknowledge receipt of this second letter.
PN Deputy Leader Simon Busuttil said these cases were extremely serious involving drugs. Dr Abela had hidden a crime by not telling the police. Dr Muscat was protecting Dr Abela. And, before the whole country, both had not said the truth.
Responsibility was now fully on Dr Muscat's shoulders, Dr Busuttil said. Dr Muscat was claiming that he wanted to clean up politics, but there was a wide gulf between what he said and what he did. He built his policies on deception and hypocrisy.
"My message to the people is to reflect whether they want to trust their future and that of their children on this person," Dr Busuttil said.
This was further evidence that Dr Muscat and the Labour Party are morally bankrupt, and morally corrupt," Dr Busuttil concluded.
Replying to questions, Dr Busuttil said it was Dr Muscat who should be asked in which club this case took place. He said the letter was received recently and he got to know about it yesterday.
Dr Busuttil said the PN expected Dr Muscat to shoulder his responsibilities.