Joseph Muscat has denied with Lovin Malta that he plans to move to Dubai after financial crime blogger Kenneth Rijock wrote that he has been engaged to run a catering business in the Arabian city which is connected to a Maltese company.
This week, Rijock wrote that Muscat could have an eye on moving to Dubai as no extradition treaty exists between the UAE and the United States.
“It may be noteworthy to observe that there is no extradition treaty between the UAE and the United States, and Muscat’s probable indictment in America may have figured prominently in his decision to move to the Emirates,” Rijock wrote.
“While the United States does, from time to time, successfully extradite its fugitives from the UAE, there is no guarantee that it will be able to obtain Muscat.”
“Some of these extradition cases take several years to complete, especially if there is any cooperation between the fugitive and the government where he has taken refuge from arrest and trial in the United States.”
According to Rijock, a former-money-launderer-turned-FBI informant, the FBI have launched a special money laundering investigation focusing solely on Malta which could see Muscat extradited to the US.
He said other European countries, including Italy, have also launched separate investigations.
The former Prime Minister has taken aim at Rijock’s credibility, denying any illegalities and stating he is unaware of any international investigation against him.
Muscat resigned as Prime Minister in disgrace last year after murder suspect Yorgen Fenech implicated his chief of staff Keith Schembri in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
In the weeks following his resignation, he went on a number of overseas, including a very brief 70-hour trip to Dubai with his family, out of which 15 hours were spent in transit.
Standards Commissioner George Hyzler investigated this trip and confirmed the flights cost around €21,000 but were paid by a third party who he chose not to name.
Hyzler said Muscat gave him a detailed explanation as to why he took this trip and who paid for it, and that he was honouring the former Prime Minister’s request not to publish these details seeing as the visit was private in nature and did not involve a breach of the Ministerial Code of Ethics.
Earlier this month, Muscat announced his resignation from Parliament and has since only accepted two interviews, one by ONE TV host Karl Stagno Navarra and another by L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa host Mark Laurence Zammit.
He has kept his lips sealed about his plans for the future, only stating he intends to work as an economic consultant, even though he isn’t an economist.