Watch: ‘I don’t feel I should accept gifts’ – Robert Abela

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Partit Laburista leadership hopeful Robert Abela said that he does not feel that he should accept gifts during an interview by Fr Joe Borg on Newsbook.com.mt.

Speaking in the context of recent revelations, that disgraced Prime Minister Joseph Muscat allegedly received a limited edition of a Bulgari watch valued at €20,000 and three bottles of wine at his birthday party valued at €5,800 from Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, Abela said that he will speak about “receiving gifts”. He added that at this stage the €20,000 watch remained an allegation, which Muscat could have received and which he would have accepted following the Code of Ethics.

Abela said that while he was not there to defend the Prime Minister, it all depends on how Muscat behaved when and if he accepted such a gift. He explained that if Muscat followed the Code of Ethics then it would be a different story. ‘It would be good if the media which revealed the story gave us a full picture of what went on and then I can decide,’ Robert claimed.

Speaking about himself, Abela said that the current climate requires that whoever is elected sends a strong signal that good governance is on the agenda. He added there was a difference between 2014 and today.

“I, personally, at this point in time and in this context, I don’t feel that I should accept any gifts,” Abela stated.

He also made a distinction between donations received from public events and donations which originate from businessmen. Abela remarked that nothing comes for free, as he reflected that certain donations might have one beholden to the businesses or individuals concerned.