Updated 7.47pm - Added Busuttil comments

Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil owes the people an explanation, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this evening.

Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Dr Muscat said allegations that the PN had accepted money from Silvio Debono to cover two top party officials' wages, were serious and worrying. The people would judge the PN on whether it had broken the party financing laws.

He asked when Dr Busuttil had first learnt his deputy leader Mario de Marco was offering legal services to Mr Debono's group which was involved in a €300 million investment.

READ: db Group rubbishes PN's 'categorical denial' about salary claims

There were many other questions that needed answering. Waiting 24 hours to reply to such allegations cast doubts on the truth of the replies and the party's commitment to good governance, he said. 

On its part, the Labour Party would be handing over all of its financing documents to the Electoral Commission in the coming weeks - once its registration as a party was accepted.

"What I can promise is that there are no such deals between the Labour Party and any businesses," he said.

 

Marlene Farrugia also spoke about the db Group claims. Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

'All parties live off donations' - Busuttil

Dr Busuttil later made an appearance on NET TV, saying in a live interview that all donations to political parties were used to finance party operations "including salaries." 

He said that political parties needed donations to survive as they had no access to other funding streams. 

"I didn't invent this system, but we are honest about it and declare our donations, unlike Labour which has yet to register itself as a political party, breaking a party financing law it itself introduced," he said. 

He raised questions about the relationship between db Group and the government, saying it appeared the two were "in collusion" and that the deal granting the group a concession to develop the former ITS site in St George's Bay was shady.

"If they [db Group] gave us money to keep our mouths shut, what did they give Muscat to get that huge tract of land?" he asked. 

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