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Montenegro MP challenges government to swear it had nothing to do with Caruana Galizia murder

The Opposition in Montenegro asked the prime minister and the government to clearly state the reason behind the frequent visits made by Joseph Muscat to Montenegro.

Mozura windfarm project.
Mozura windfarm project.

An Opposition Leader in Montenegro’s Parliament has challenged his government to publicly declare that it was not involved in any way with Caruana Galizia’s assassination, in light of the recent links between the Mozura wind farm and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, as well as disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s frequent visits.

MP and president of Movement for Changes (PzP), a political party in Montenegro, Nebojša Medojević sent a number of questions to the Montenegrin government about the latest revelations on the dirty energy deal struck between his government and Malta.

In a set of strongly-worded questions, Medojević calls on his prime minister and government to clearly state the reason behind the frequent visits made by Muscat to Montenegro. “What were they so busy talking about just before the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia?” the MP queried.

Medojević’s move came about after Reuters revealed last week that Fenech, who is charged with being the mastermind behind Caruana Galizia’s death, made millions of euro through a company he allegedly owns in Dubai – 17 Black – in a corrupt wind energy deal in Montenegro.

The Shift had first exposed the corrupt dealings behind the wind farm project in Mozura, which involves Montenegro’s government, Malta’s State-owned electricity company Enemalta, China’s Shanghai Electric, and several offshore companies including one owned by Azerbaijani-British national Turab Musayev, who was SOCAR Trading’s representative on the Board of Electrogas.

The web of companies involved in the Mozura wind farm project in Montenegro, including Enemalta. Credit: DAN

“Is there a single murder or crime in the world where Montenegro, its’ authorities and people close to the government and DPS (the ruling communists) are not involved?” he added. “Can the Prime Minister Dusko Markovic and the president of DPS and of Montenegro swear that they were not involved in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia?”

He went on to ask whether the Foreign Ministry could vouch that Tiziano Mousu, the former honorary consul of Malta in Montenegro, was also not involved in her murder. Mousu was key to the efforts of Vitals Global Healthcare and then Steward Healthcare for a deal on public hospitals in Montenegro that was similar to Malta’s.

After Mousu, Muscat appointed his personal friend, water polo coach Karl Izzo, who has no diplomatic experience.

(From left) Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, Michelle Muscat, Joseph Muscat, Diane Izzo, Karl Izzo, and Elena Farrugia, the wife of Zammit Lewis.
(From left) Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, Michelle Muscat, Joseph Muscat, Diane Izzo, Karl Izzo, and Elena Farrugia, the wife of Zammit Lewis.

Muscat insisted he knew nothing about any corruption in the deal when interviewed by Net TV on Monday. There is further evidence yet to emerge on the Montenegro deal.

The Montenegrin MP also referred to Muscat’s new role as “special advisor” to the Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev while highlighting the fact that the chairman of the ruling party in Montenegro was also in close communication with the Azerbaijanis.

The Shift had revealed how Muscat became a member of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, an Azerbaijani government-funded political think tank and lobby group.

With this in mind, Medojevic called on the government to publicly swear that Caruana Galizia’s murder was not linked to any business, State or private, between President Djukanovic, his political advisor Milan Rocen and the Azerbaijan president.

“The people in Montenegro have the right to get the answers to these questions at a moment following other scandals linked to the criminal DPS government, and since the honourable name of Montenegro is dragged in the mud once more with the most deplorable murder of an investigative journalist in Malta.”

Caruana Galizia’s family also deserved these answers, he added.

Disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat closing off the deal in Montenegro with then Energy Minister Joe Mizzi.
Disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat closing off the deal in Montenegro with then Energy Minister Joe Mizzi.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Montenegro’s Parliament Ivan Brajovic refused a motion to set up a parliamentary committee to investigate the Mozura wind farm and its links with Fenech, saying it was only signed by 24 MPs when procedural rules stated 27 signatures were required. Even though five more endorsed the motion, Brajovic said it was too late as it had to be signed and filed at least 24 hours before Parliament’s next session.

Independent MP Srđan Milić’, who filed the motion, argued that it was backed by all Opposition MPs – 39 out of a total of 81. He also pointed out that the 24-hour deadline was frequently ignored when the government put forward its own proposals and initiatives.

Brajovic still refused to listen and Milić’ said he would refile the motion for when Parliament convened again.

The questions linking Muscat to Azerbaijan’s ruling party are based on a long and cosy relationship that the former prime minister has had with the country since 2007 when Muscat was still an MEP.

In 2014, one year after he was elected, under the cover of an electoral promise to “reduce electricity prices”, the Maltese government led by Muscat bound Malta to acquire liquid natural gas (LNG) from SOCAR for 18 years.

Three years later, NGO Freedom Files published a report that revealed that Malta is “considered by Azerbaijani oligarchs as one of the provinces of Azerbaijan.”

Meanwhile, the deal between the Montenegrin government and the Muscat-led administration has created one controversy after another. In his last official visit as prime minister, Muscat flew to Montenegro to seal the deal in November 2019 in the midst of protests calling for his resignation.

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