Independent inquiry to probe Beppe Fenech Adami allegations

Independent inquiry to probe Beppe Fenech Adami allegations

Prime Minister says former judiciary members will be asked to look into matter

The Prime Minister said traffic problems were exacerbated by increased employment. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The Prime Minister said traffic problems were exacerbated by increased employment. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Updated 1.22pm - Added PN statement

An independent inquiry will look into claims that a police investigation into possible money laundering was halted in January 2013 when Beppe Fenech Adami’s name cropped up, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said. 

MaltaToday reported that the investigation was "ostensibly" not pursued further when Dr Fenech Adami’s name cropped up as one of the directors of the company being investigated.

Speaking at a political activity in Balzan this morning, Dr Muscat said he was fulfilling his duty as a Prime Minister by appointing an independent board of inquiry to look into the allegations.

Former members of the judiciary would be approached to form part of the inquiry, and given a mandate to investigate the allegations and identify any shortcomings by the country’s institutions.

MaltaToday reported that a file compiled by investigators in January 2013 was marked “Bring up in three months” on January 31 of that year.

The newspaper says that by April 2013, the Dutch authorities had dropped their charges due to a lack of evidence, and the file containing the investigations into the company Dr Fenech Adami was a director marked “put away”.

Dr Muscat said the government had a duty to ensure that the rule of law was applied to all individuals.

In a reaction, the Nationalist Party asked why the government had failed to act on these allegations since assuming power three and a half years ago. 

The party said that if the Prime Minister wanted to act seriously, he would appoint similar inquiries to look into various other scandals, from claims of bribery related to medical visas for Libyans, to allegations of impropriety in the issuing of 7,000 visas to Algerians during the time the Prime Minister's cousin was consul there. 

"Above all, Muscat should appoint an independent inquiry to find out where his deputies got the commissions they secretly squirrelled away in Panama from," the party said. 

LNG tanker safe, PM says

The Prime Minister also offered his assurances about the safety of the LNG tanker that is expected to berth in Marsaxlokk tomorrow.

Dr Muscat said that LNG tankers were safer than oil tankers, as evidence by the cheaper insurance premiums offered to such tankers.

Dr Muscat said the use of heavy fuel oil was a thing of the past and only used in a few African countries.

The conversion to a gas-fired plant would mean that Malta was no longer dependent on fluctuating oil markets, Dr Muscat said.

On the traffic situation, the Prime Minister argued that Malta’s road network did not reflect present realities.

A number of alternative options were being studied to address this infrastructural deficit, Dr Muscat said.

The Prime Minister said that the 22,000 jobs created by the government in just three years inevitably meant that more people were going out to work in the morning and adding to the congestion.

Dr Muscat said people in the south had felt the impact of the closing of the Dock Seven route.

He reassured the public that an alternative route would be opened up in the coming days.



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