Prime Minister Robert Abela has said that he simply reported Bernard Grech’s tax issues to Tax Commissioner Marvin Gaerty, but that he had not discussed them with him.
Abela was asked by journalists on Monday about a story published in the Sunday Times of Malta which stated that police were waiting for the green light from the Prime Minister to unlock the phone of Tax Commissioner Marvin Gaerty, a phone which is reportedly a “pandora’s box of sensitive information”, which reportedly includes an exchange between Abela and Gaerty on opposition leader Bernard Grech’s tax situation.
In a statement on Monday evening the police denied that they required any form of authorisation from the Prime Minister for their investigations.
Grech’s issues with the taxman were well documented through his ultimately successful leadership campaign earlier this year.
Replying to the questions, Abela said that he had received information “from within the Nationalist Party” that Grech had not paid his taxes “for years” and had simply done his duty in passing the information onto the tax chief.
He said that it is the duty of every citizen in the country to report any breaches of the law that they learn about to the authorities.
He insisted that the real issue was that Grech had not paid his taxes for years and that he had only then paid them because of the PN leadership campaign.
Abela was speaking at the foot of the memorial to Karin Grech, who was killed by a letter bomb addressed to her father 43 years ago today, where he commemorated Grech’s memory and made a renewed call for justice to be done in this case.