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Labour Party refuses to explain breach of company regulations

Economy Minister Chris Cardona is director of the company owned by the Labour Party that is in breach of MFSA laws.

Economy Minister Chris Cardona and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Image: Daphne Caruana Galizia / Running Commentary.

The Labour Party in government did not answer questions on its failure to abide by company regulations to provide audited accounts for one of its media arms for eight years.

The Shift News has revealed that Sound Vision Print Ltd, which owns and operates the Labour Party’s newspaper Kulhadd, did not file audited accounts as required by law since 2010 (filed in 2013). The Labour Party has stopped filing its audited accounts for the company since it came to power.

Questions sent to the Labour Party’s Director of Communications Aleander Balzan received no reply. Neither did questions sent to Economy Minister Chris Cardona, who was appointed sole director of the company in July 2016.

The findings emerged as part of a probe into seven years of asset declarations filed by Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries. Cardona was appointed to the role to replace replaced Toni Abela, the former Labour Party Deputy Leader who Prime Minister Joseph Muscat promoted to judge in November 2016 after the European Parliament voted  against him serving as a member of the European Court of Auditors.

Read: Cover your assets: Economy Minister Chris ‘Horndog’ Cardona

According to law, this would make Cardona personally liable for a fine of over €2,600 for the late filing of accounts. Cardona did not reply to questions. Instead, his chief of staff Jeremy Dalli sent an invitation to ‘like’ Cardona’s Facebook page.

Dalli’s background as the managing director of the Footloose and Qube Vodka Bar nightclubs seems to have been a fit for for the Minister’s infamous social life in night clubs and strip clubs. Dalli was appointed board member of the Malta Industrial Parks.

Perhaps Dalli would like to explain why his boss, who promised to “dispose of all commercial ties” before he was elected, continues to retain a 25% shareholding in Sapmac Ltd – a joint venture between Cardona, his former chief of staff Mario Azzopardi, Stuart Azzopardi and Labour developer Carmelo Penza. The company has also not filed annual audited accounts as required by law for the last eight years.

That is the Economy Minister, defying MFSA rules.

The Shift News asked Cardona for an explanation of why audited accounts had not been filed, when he intends to file the accounts, and whether any fines have been incurred, or paid, as a result of the breach.

Cardona was responsible for  freezing the assets of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia before her death, after she reported his visit to a brothel in Germany while on government business. Cardona dropped the case after her death to avoid his telephone records being revealed.

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