‘I am feeling intimidated by all this’ – Paul Apap Bologna

PAC still struggling to get answers from uncooperative witness

 

An attempt to grill Paul Apap Bologna on the Electrogas deal at the Public Accounts Committee once again resulted in very few answers being given as the two-hour session was marked by four government MPs and the witness’ lawyer objecting to the questions being asked and accusing Opposition MPs of using partisan tactics.

The committee is discussing the report by the National Audit Office that concluded that “millions were stolen from taxpayers” on the power station deal that was the Labour Party’s main electoral promise in 2013.

At one point, government backbencher Ian Castaldi Paris suggested that the witness may not feel this was the right environment for the witness to answer questions. Apap Bologna promptly addressed the MPs and said: “I am feeling intimidated by all this”.

His lawyer Giannella De Marco insisted on addressing the committee directly, saying the committee’s questions were “abusive” and based on “trickery”. At times, she even answered questions on behalf of the witness despite various warnings given.

Labour MP Manuel Mallia also intervened to insist that the questions being asked were “not fair”, and at one point felt the need to remind the committee that he is “a real lawyer”. Chairman Beppe Fenech Adami replied that Apap Bologna did not need “another lawyer defending him”.

Government MP Alex Muscat went as far as telling Opposition MPs, “altament tigu titnejjku minn kollox” (a vulgar Maltese phrase accusing the other side of lacking respect for anything).

Labour MP and whip Glenn Bedingfield then insisted on reviewing the law and the remit of the committee which he proceeded to read out to all. Apap Bologna and his lawyer were asked to leave the room while the committee discussed the matter.

On Apap Bologna’s return, he (or his lawyer) invoked his right to silence for at least 10 questions put to him on why he resigned as director of Electrogas and GEM on 12 May, and whether this was because he had hidden his ownership of offshore company Kittiwake Ltd from the rest of the shareholders.

In the few questions Apap Bologna did address, he said GEM Holdings had paid Yorgen Fenech €1 million for “his services” to the project. He insisted Electrogas had not made any money from the project as the financial model was based on earnings at the end of the project.

When pressed he mentioned that GEM received success fees while Electrogas received development fees. He could not remember the amount. Yet an investigation by The Shift revealed that shareholders had paid themselves €16 million in “fees” out of loans granted to Electrogas on the back of a last-minute multi-million euro State guarantee.

These “fees” – a form of commission, typically used to pay external advisors as a reward for procuring finance or assisting with a successful transaction – were paid two full years before Electrogas first generated electricity, according to leaked emails seen by The Shift.

Fenech’s New Energy Supply Ltd, a minority shareholder in GEM Holdings, was to receive €2.5 million of these success fees for “interfacing with the authorities” under a side agreement with GEM signed in 2014, The Shift investigation showed.

Before the committee, Apap Bologna admitted to attending the wedding in Baku, Azerbaijan, of Turab Musayev, where Fenech was also present with his wife.

Musayev, the Azerbaijani-British National who was SOCAR Trading’s representative on the Board of Electrogas threatened to take legal action against five newsrooms in Malta, including The Shift, related to their reporting of the wind farm deal in Montenegro and alleged connections between Musayev and Fenech who is charged with complicity in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

                           
                               
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Reality
Reality
13 days ago

Shame on you apap bologna. I have watched you, gianella, Bedingfield and the other two stooges trying to disrupt the meeting and I could see the desperation in their eyes. SHAME ON YOU CORRUPT LOT

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
13 days ago

Paul Apap Bologna says that he is feeling intimidated. If he is feeling so, he should know that we, the taxpayers, rightfully feel that we have been cheated heavily with the Electrogas deal, thanks to the corrupt government with the complicity of supposedly reputable family business persons like himself and his other partners.
In my opinion, Paul Apap Bologna and his co-directors of Electrogas, should have resigned for what I would classify as ‘wrongful trading’.
This results from the financial statements of the company for 2019.
The company ended with the following results:
– a loss for the year of Euro 15 million.
– an accumulated loss of Euro 70 million.
– a negative hedging reserve of Euro 10.8 million.
– share capital of Euro 1 million.
– sub-ordinated loans by the shareholders of Euro 112.9 million. One must question here: “why were these loans not converted into share capital, which was left at just Euro 1 million? for a multi-million project?”
– Borrowings of Euro 482 million.
– An emphasis of matter by the auditors, stating: “Material uncertainty remains, as the review identified sources of information that it did not have access to, together with public investigations that remain ongoing. The matter is considered to be of fundamental importance to the understanding of the financial statements due to its nature and significance.”
One question that Paul Apap Bologna and his director colleagues, need to seriously answer for the benefit of the taxpayer, is: “with these results and the 18 year power purchase agreement, and Gas supply agreement, whereby profits on purchasing of LNG are being made solely, at least apparently, by SOCAR, the Azerbaijani State Oil Company, and Enemalta which is obliged to buy and pay for whatever supply is made available to Electrogas, at the same price, how many years will it take for Electrogas to make profits and to generate enough liquidity to repay the everincreasing loans?”. One must also highlight that Enemalta is the one and only exclusive client of Electrogas.
So, in conclusion, my reference to wrongful trading, is specifically because it will be the Government on behalf of us taxpayers, that will eventually have to bail out Apap Bologna & Co with an agreed price of Euro 450 million, and continue up to the end of the 18 year agreement losing our money and increasing our debts.
Let’s not forget that the honourable Gasans have already hinted that they wish to exit the company.
Paul Apap Bologna – you must be joking when you say that you feel intimidated, while having grossly intimidated us and maimed us, with your politically convenient decisions.

Reality
Reality
12 days ago

The greed of the new feudal lords under the guidance of the most corrupt ex.pm Malta ever had.
Tpaxxa haddiem bis-serq ta flusek.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
12 days ago

The scenes at the PAC show how the interests of the Mafia are protected.

Albert Bonnici
Albert Bonnici
12 days ago

So Mr Apap Bolgna is feeling intimidated poor soul. Perhaps with bedingfield’s show off shouting.

Joanne Pace lo
Joanne Pace lo
12 days ago

Poor little lamb hrs feeling intimidated, he should feel more than intimidated when he stole millions from ordinary, clean honest Maltese people. What rubbish of a man,if one can call him such, absolutely no dignity at all. Pffft

carmelo borg
12 days ago

Xeni bhal PAPA l aqwa li naghmlu LİRA. Eh Trid weekend break biex tmur fuq il qabar ta kristu forsi ukoll. Ajma xi hurq.

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