Konrad Mizzi, the disgraced ex-minister named in connection with the most scandalous deals made in recent years, is still in London and has yet to be investigated by the local police over serious allegations of corruption.
His absence was raised in a debate during Wednesday’s parliamentary session in which Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi highlighted the fact that Mizzi is still abroad, “running away from justice”.
Mizzi’s multiple trips to Montenegro in light of corruption revealed in the Montenegro energy deal – the reason why Joseph Muscat abandoned unrest at home in November 2019 to sign on the dotted line.
He listed in detail the numerous visits Mizzi made to Montenegro, a country where a deal related to a wind farm project in the hills of Mozura was signed. With a backdrop of an elaborate set of offshore companies behind it, the deal faced serious allegations of corruption from the start.
The disgraced minister has been out of the country since 13 March and has been “retroactively excused” from parliamentary sessions, according to a statement made by the Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia on 21 April.
Mizzi’s absence was extremely evident earlier this month when parliament debated a motion filed by the Opposition to cancel an agreement that gave Steward Health Care a payout of €100 million even if kicked out for its failures. Mizzi himself had stealthily signed this side agreement in August 2019 while health minister.
The motion was overturned by the government but Mizzi was not present for the debate as he had been certified as unfit to fly back to Malta by a medical doctor in London.
It is not as though he could have used the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse as, even though Malta’s airspace was officially closed down to commercial flights on 21 March, Air Malta has continued to operate repatriation flights from London.
Mizzi, who owns a house in London, is “fleeing justice” by staying away from Maltese shores, Azzopardi said.
“Mizzi is supposed to be facing investigations on money laundering and corruption. Instead, he is setting up a plan with Robert Abela to be given a guarantee that the new police commissioner will not arrest him or put him under investigation. This is the real reason why he’s still in the UK,” the Opposition MP added.
These questions were raised in light of the fact that the Office of Prime Minister has not commented on whether the authorities will investigate corruption allegations revealed by The Shift linked to the Mozura wind farm project.
Mizzi visited Montenegro eight times in two years, accompanied by his personal lawyer and friend Aron Mifsud Bonnici. He has represented Mizzi in libel cases filed by the former minister, including those related to Panama Papers, 17 Black and Egrant.
During one particular visit to Montenegro, Mizzi changed hotels twice in two days despite these being one hour away from each other. His movements in different accommodations in Montenegro were traced through the use of his official credit cards.