Maltese PM Calls Snap Election Amid Offshore Allegations
Malta’s Prime Minister called a snap election on Monday after allegations by a journalist that his wife was involved with an offshore company that received payments from Azerbaijan’s first family.
wrote on her personal website that his wife, Michelle Muscat, was behind an offshore company that had received well over US$ 1 million in payments from a Dubai company owned by Leila Aliyeva, a daughter of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called the vote for June 3 after local journalist Daphne Caruana-Galizia
Transcriptions of two declarations of trust, published on Caruana-Galizia’s website, purported to show that Michelle Muscat was a beneficial owner of a Malta-based company, Egrant Inc. Caruana-Galizia did not publish an original of the document.
Caruana-Galizia, citing a whistleblower in Malta’s Pilatus Bank, wrote that a Dubai company owned by Aliyeva transferred a $1.017 million loan repayment to Egrant in 2016, as well as several other transactions valued at about $100,000 each. She did not provide documents to back up her claim.
In calling the election, Prime Minister Muscat denied the allegations made in Caruana-Galizia’s report.
"Everybody knows about the attacks made in the past few days on me and my family. I have nothing to fear because truth is on my side and I am clean," he was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.