Egrant: Muscat’s testimony

He talked about the link between Egrant, the owner of Pilatus Bank, and the Azerbaijani President

REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was the first witness to testify in the inquiry of the Panama-based company, Egrant. He testified on the 22nd of April, 2017.

During his testimonies, Muscat talked about the numerous allegations and stories that were issued in connection with him and his wife, in particular, whether there was a link between the Muscat family and the Egrant company, his relationship with the owner of Pilatus Bank, and with the Azerbaijani President and his family.

At the beginning of his testimony, Muscat had said that the inquiry was launched after he himself asked his lawyers to ask the Police Commissioner to investigate so that all the facts will be made public.

“In no time did I neither own the company, nor held any accounts, or owned something that is not declared in the statement of my assets as Prime Minister and Member of Parliament,” said Muscat.

He categorically denied ever taking any illegal money. “I always did my work without asking for anything Mr. Magistrate,” he insisted.

‘It was taken as a joke’

With regards to the allegations emerged against Michelle Muscat and her connection with Egrant, the Prime Minister said that when there was a rumour running which could lead to Michelle’s name being tainted, they would take it as a joke.

When asked whether he was approached by someone or spoke with anyone about Egrant, or whether he had any direct or indirect interest, Muscat stated that he neither talked with anyone about its incorporation nor ever had any interest in it.

Muscat added that he had seen saw the document which was released online and had pointed out its flaws. Among them, he mentioned that the timescale documented that the transfer of shares subscribed to his wife was two years after the shares were already passed to Brian Tonna.

In the meanwhile, Muscat said that after the inquiry he will be taking the necessary steps to identify who, how, and why was this fabrication issued against him and his wife.

Ali Sadr’s wedding; an occasion for PM and his wife to enjoy a vacation

Muscat insisted that neither he nor his family had any relationship with Pilatus Bank. He said that he neither held credit cards, nor accounts, nor any other asset of any company.

Nevertheless, he was invited to Ali Sadr’s wedding. He insisted that the wedding served as a good opportunity for him and his wife Michelle to enjoy a holiday in Florence. He also said that he was interested in attending the wedding particularly as there would be also the owner of Coca-Cola of that time, and wished to carry out business with him. This meant that the wedding would serve as a business opportunity for the country.

Recently it was revealed that Yorgen Fenech, the man charged with complicity in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, was also invited to the wedding.

While speaking about his relationship with Ali Sadr, he explained that he had met with many owners who had investments in the country. He is believed to have met Ali Sadr around six times.

Muscat meets with Azerbaijani President

Muscat explained that he met with the Azerbaijani President several times. He said that he met him in two bilateral meetings in Azerbaijan. The Maltese media was not informed of one of the visits.

In the meantime, he said that they had met in Brussels and Lithuania for a meeting between the leaders of the European Union and Eastern Partnership.