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‘We expect arrests, interrogations and prosecution’

rezistenza corruption 17 BLACK

The report by the National Audit Office (NAO) published yesterday, following the recent “shocking” revelations on 17 Black prove Malta is “afflicted by an epidemic of corruption,” activist group Reżistenza said in a statement.

The group called for arrests with a banner hung on one of the busiest streets in the country. “It is evident that the vast majority of the Maltese institutions betrayed citizens by allowing a network of corruption connected with international organised crime to establish itself and flourish locally,” Reżistenza said.

The 600-page NAO report tabled Parliament yesterday was a damning indictment of the process the government followed to push forward the power station project, which was the Labour Party’s main electoral promise linked to cheaper electricity bills.

Yet the report showed that taxpayers lost millions as a result of the project. A “conservative estimate” by the NAO found energy generated by the new Electrogas power plant to be on average €50 /MWh more expensive than the Malta-Sicily interconnector.

The NAO was highly critical of a number of aspects of the project, including evaluation, due diligence, as well as the “risky” and “unprecedented” State guarantee of €360 million given to Electrogas.

The project is at the centre of a major scandal after leaked emails written by Nexia BT said the two Panama companies were to receive payments totalling $2 million from 17 Black, a Dubai firm recently revealed as being owned by Electrogas director and chief executive of Tumas Group Yorgen Fenech.

“We are expecting the Maltese police to effect arrests and interrogations, to seek the assistance of foreign security services and above all to identify and prosecute the politicians and public servants who are implicated in this network of criminality,” Reżistenza said.

The group appealed to those in key positions “who still uphold the values of justice and rule of law” to show courage and insist for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

“Corruption robs a nation of the future it deserves,” the activists said.

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