Joseph Muscat is currently flying on private trips that are not related to public or government work with a Maltese diplomatic passport. Although it is custom that former Prime Ministers are provided with a diplomatic passport, its use is tightly controlled and can not be used for private purposes.
Joseph Muscat used a diplomatic passport to travel to New York last June for an unofficial meeting by an Azerbaijani delegation to the United Nations (this wasn’t a UN-organised event and it was more like an informal visit by the delegation). Muscat was part of the Azerbaijani delegation and the delegation had no relation whatsoever to Malta. He told us about the delegation visit on his Facebook page.
Joseph Muscat is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice over potential money laundering activities that he committed with US-based companies. Ram Tumuluri, the fraud who brokered the Vitals’ public hospitals deal with the Maltese government has turned whistleblower and is cooperating with the Department of Justice. Joseph Muscat knows that he is being investigated by the US authorities and traveling to the US with a diplomatic passport for non-government and unofficial reasons provides him a soft layer of impunity. The Department of Justice can legally indict any foreign national who has been the recipient of bribes from companies that are ultimately based in the US. Individuals who execute money-laundering activities with US Dollars can also be subject to US indictments of foreign nationals.
As for the Azerbaijani delegation, this was organised by the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre, an Azerbaijani-government-funded institution that serves as an international lobby for the Azerbaijani government. Its members are mostly politicians with horrible political track records and this is obvious because otherwise, why would you accept to be paid to lobby for the Azerbaijani government? Its members include Gordon Brown (former British PM), our own Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Mirko Cvetkovic (ex-Serbian PM), Viktor Yushchenko (the former pro-Russian Ukrainian President who was ousted in the Maidan Revolution), Gjorge Ivanov (ex-President of North Macedonia who was involved in a major wiretap scandal where up to 20,000 Macedonians including journalists and opposition figures were monitored by the authorities), George Papandreou (former Prime Minister of Greece who fumbled the Greek economic crisis), and the list goes on.
Oddly enough, Joseph Muscat isn’t on the list. Maybe, he is a member but they are weary of being associated with him.