Malta, Abela calls for investigation into alleged corruption
Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela declared that he is disgusted by claims that 17 Black, the secret company set up Yorgen Fenech, accused as the mastermind behind the killing of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, made millions off the decison taken in 2015 by Enemalta to buy a wind farm in Montenegro. The Maltese Prime Minister called for an immediate thorough investigation after an investigation by Reuters and The Times of Malta revealed that Fenech secretly funnelled €4.6 million into his secret company registered in Dubai. Two secred companies which were set up in Panama for former Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi and former Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister Keith Schembri, would receive €2 million from Fenech’s secret company based in Dubai, 17 Black.
In a brief statement on Saturday afternoon, the Police said that prior to the allegations, the issue was already subject of a police investigation. The Police had already started investigating the purchase of a wind farm in Montenegro by Enemalta, before the story hit the headlines on Friday. Local police are collaborating with Europol and are being assisted by other competent authorities. Prime Minister Robert Abela insisted that it was not yet the time to ask for the resignation of any of his MPs, including former energy minister Konrad Mizzi. Abela said “should any MP be subject to a police investigation the goalposts will shift, and on that day the MP and I will have to review our position.” He also insisted that if anyone is involved “it is best that they take the step before I have to. I guarantee I will not protect anyone, whoever erred will have to pay for their behaviour”, Abela added. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat insisted that he had “nothing to hide” and he was making himself available to the police to provide them with any information they may require and to answer any questions they may have. Former minister Konrad Mizzi denied any wrongdoing and insisted that the purchase of the wind farm only brought profits to the national energy company. On Saturday morning, Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo declared “those involved in corruption, money laundering and tax evasion should be charged in court, their case should be heard quickly and be made to pay for their crime”.