HomeWorldFrom Italy to China, international media covers Muscat’s arraignment

From Italy to China, international media covers Muscat’s arraignment

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Photo by Miguela Xuereb

Tista’ taqra bil-
Malti.

News of ex-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s arraignment in court yesterday has reached international media. From Italy, to other European countries, to China, and the United States, news organisations noted how Muscat and other officials and ex-officials are facing serious accusations in relation to the fraudulent hospital privatisation deal.

Euroactiv, which focuses on European affairs, said that Malta “finds itself in difficulty” as ex-Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne is also among those accused. Fearne was due to be nominated as European Commissioner, before the conclusion of the Vitals inquiry recommended pressing charges against him and other officials.

Politico, another site focusing on European affairs, noted that the case may continue for a number of years, and involves some of the highest officials from the Labour Party, including former prime minister Joseph Muscat, as well as Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, Edward Scicluna and Chris Fearne.

The Italian news agency ItalPress, published a photo of Joseph Muscat and his wife, Michelle Muscat, leaving court after a sitting that lasted more than nine hours. It noted that, if found guilty, Muscat is risking 18 years prison and a €2.5 million fine.

Tuesday’s case was also reported by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project – an international organisation who focus on corruption and organised crime. This organisation, in which a number of Maltese journalists also participate, revealed a number of stories that led to the accusations, including in the case of Joseph Muscat.

The news also reached Australia’s abcNEWS, which said that “Malta’s former prime minister and other former top officials have pleaded not guilty to charges in a hospital corruption scandal that is roiling the Mediterranean island nation as it prepares for European Parliament elections”.

The Chinese state news agency Xinhua led with the title “Malta’s former prime minister Muscat charged with corruption” and included a series of photos of Muscat waving to his supporters as he entered and left the Court.

In the United States, the radio station WMBD in Illinois focused on Muscat’s declaration that “absolutely not guilty” of the accusations against him. It noted that Muscat was welcomed by his supporters in front of the Court.

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