Malta's Police Search Residence Of Ex-Prime Minister - Reports

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th January, 2022) Maltese police have searched the house of the country's former prime minister, Joseph Muscat, as part of an anti-corruption investigation, the Times of Malta newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The police are investigating alleged bribes by US company Steward Healthcare when it was trying to take over a contract to manage three hospitals of Maltese healthcare company Vitals Global Healthcare. In November, the Times of Malta reported that Muscat received 60,000 Euros ($68,000) from Swiss consulting firm Accutor AG, which, in turn, received 3.6 million euros ($4 million) from Steward Healthcare.

According to the newspaper, the search started early in the morning and lasted roughly three hours, with officers also seizing the phones of Muscat, his wife and daughters. Muscat is reported to have prepared a file that allegedly proves that the money was consulting fees from Accutor AG, and handed it over to law enforcement officers.

Muscat left office in 2020 amid protests over his handling of a probe into the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Caruana Galizia's murder is largely tied to an anti-corruption investigation she was conducting with the help of information uncovered in the leaked Panama papers. She accused a group of high-ranking Maltese politicians, including Muscat and his wife, of being connected to Dubai-registered company 17 Black, that allegedly served as a front for laundering illegal earnings.