God forbid the PM decides who is guilty or not – Muscat
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God forbid the PM decides who is guilty or not – Muscat

'Institutions have to be given time and space to work'

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Sunday that it was not his role to decide whether people were guilty or not.

Addressing a Labour event in St Paul’s Bay, Dr Muscat said the country’s institutions had to be given the time and space to work.

The Sunday Times of Malta confirmed on Sunday that FIAU findings about the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi are the subject of a criminal investigation.

A report naming Tumas Group CEO Yorgen Fenech as 17 Black owner was sent to the police earlier in the year for a money-laundering investigation. Dr Mizzi and his energy dealings was the main subject of this report.

The Prime Minister did not make any direct references to the 17 Black revelations.

Watch: 17 Black in 90 seconds

“God forbid we end up in a situation where the Prime Minister decides who is guilty or not. That is not division of power”, Dr Muscat said in his address.

Dr Muscat said the country’s institutions had his unconditional support.

He said the institutions were subjected to a lot of unjust criticism that they were legally precluded from replying to.

The Prime Minister said those who criticised these institutions knew they could not answer the criticism.

Read: The roadmap to 17 Black

Dr Muscat appealed to the Opposition leader to defend the country’s institutions both locally and abroad.

He recalled that one of Labour’s first acts in government was to remove time-barring on political corruption.

The Prime Minister said all those involved in politics could now face prosecution till the day they died.

He hit out at the Opposition for being unprepared for an urgent debate on “allegations” that was called for by the PN itself.

Parliament on Monday held an emergency debate on the 17 Black revelations linking Tumas Group CEO Yorgen Fenech to 17 Black.

Dr Muscat said government MPs were prepared for the debate, while the Opposition was not.

The Prime Minister also hit out at the Opposition for criticising the government’s decision to get advice from the Venice Commission about how Malta’s institutions could be improved.

The government’s request to the Council of Europe for assistance actually came after its Venice Commission had already confirmed it would look into Malta’s structures at the request of the body’s Legal Affairs Committee.

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