Finance Minister Edward Scicluna washed his hands clean of controversial operations at Projects Malta during a recent court sitting, slamming the entity’s lack of transparency. Now, leading figures within the state-body have revealed him and his ministry were very much aware of operations.
Speaking in the public inquiry in connection to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, both former Deputy Chairperson William Wait and former Executive Chairperson Adrian Said said that Projects Malta regularly provided information to Scicluna’s ministry. Project Malta’s meetings would even take place within the Finance Ministry, Wait confirmed.
In fact, Alfred Camilleri, the Permanent Secretary at the Finance Ministry, also sat on the Projects Malta board.
“I cannot understand why Minister Scicluna said he was being kept in the dark,” Judge Emeritus Michael Mallia said.
On 12th August, Scicluna was quick to pin the blame on a “kitchen cabinet” in Joseph Muscat’s administration, even if he is the Minister ultimately responsible for the nation’s finances.
Scicluna also said that the VGH hospitals deal was not on the agenda for cabinet meetings, but this claim has also been put in doubt by Wait, who said that all of Project Malta’s major project went before them.
Vitals Global Healthcare was granted the operation of three state hospitals under disgraced former Minister Konrad Mizzi’s tenure. Mizzi was responsible for Projects Malta and Public-Private Partnerships from 2013 to 2019. He was not removed from that responsibility when the Panama Papers were revealed.
VGH was forced to sell its concession to run the Karin Grech, St Luke’s and Gozo hospitals amid growing debt and a failure to deliver on contractual commitments like investing some €200 million in new medical facilities.
Scicluna, Mizzi, and former Minister Chris Cardona are subject to a magisterial inquiry over their roles in the deal.
More recently, a National Audit Office report found evidence of collusion in the deal – with a memorandum of understanding between VGH and the government being signed months before a request for proposals was even announced.
Do you think the Minister was saying the truth? Comment below