Corals just look dead but they’re alive. The most curious thing about corals is that they have only one opening – it serves as both mouth and anus. And they’re invertebrates – they have no spine.
They look pretty, placid and harmless, often dormant. But the second a nearby prey touches the coral’s trigger, the cnidocil, a flap called the operculum opens and its stinging apparatus fires a barb, rapidly releasing venom that immobilises and kills. Its tentacles manoeuvre the prey into the stomach where it is slowly digested. What’s left is vomited up through that same orifice.
But coral is not a solitary figure. It survives by forming compact colonies of identical individual polyps which secrete calcium carbonate forming a hard outer skeleton. Once you’re part of that colony, there you will remain. Each coral is connected to its neighbours through a thin but strong horizontal sheet of tissue called the coenosarc.
Corals depend for survival on their symbiotic relationships with the lowly algae. Each coral polyp harbours one species of alga which it protects deep inside it. The alga, in return, provides the coral with all it needs.
If Konrad Mizzi were a marine animal, he’d be a coral. His placid outer appearance, gentle smile and baby face conceal a stinging venomous barb deployed effectively at the slightest trigger. That venom, released to immobilise his prey, was in full view at his long-awaited appearance at the Public accounts committee. What was also in full view was another feature of the coral – the mouth and anus are one.
In his desperate hysteria to prevent questions from the members of the committee, Mizzi embarked on a never-ending ‘oral presentation’ – or was it ‘anal presentation’? His prepared statement was interrupted by repeated outbursts of offensive outrageous abuse of the committee’s members. His face flushed a deep crimson, shouting at the top of his voice, he shrieked “You f****d Malta, and you f****d your party”.
This was nothing more than classical projection from the man who single-handedly shafted his party and his country. He brought down Joseph Muscat and strangled the country with billion euro debts to Azerbaijan’s SOCAR, Yorgen Fenech’s Electrogas, Ram Tumuluri’s Vitals while accusing others of his own crimes.
The man for whom Labour’s statute was altered to allow him to become deputy leader, in preparation for taking over as prime minister, was forced to give up his deputy leadership and later rudely kicked out of Labour’s parliamentary group.
Mizzi managed to shaft his Party so badly that he forced Joseph Muscat to resign in disgrace. The damaging burden he has inflicted on the nation will be borne for generations.
There was plenty more trash coming out of Mizzi’s orifice. “The Nationalist party, the PN government and the police stopped the investigation when your name was mentioned,” he accused PAC chairman Beppe Fenech Adami. He was referring to the CapitalOne case.
On 9th October 2016, Malta Today published an article entitled ‘Money laundering investigation was not pursued when Fenech Adami’s name cropped up’. The very next day Joseph Muscat appointed a Board of Inquiry to investigate the claims. Muscat put ex-Labour MP and retired Judge Philip Sciberras on that board. That inquiry should have been completed by 16 January 2017 but the board was given an extension up to 20 February 2017 – co-incidentally the date of the PANA fact-finding visit.
Muscat’s politically motivated plans floundered. The board could not find any shred of evidence. The Board concluded that “it cannot be said with any certainty that the investigation into CapitalOne stopped because Fenech Adami’s name surfaced”. In a bizarre twist despite the failure to find any evidence, the inquiry board added a suspicious sentence: “The Board however cannot exclude that this happened”.
This did not happen with Egrant. When Magistrate Aaron Bugeja found no documentation linking the Muscat family with Egrant Inc., despite never identifying who the real owner was, his report did not include the sentence: “The inquiry cannot exclude that Michelle Muscat owned Egrant”.
In the Egrant case, Muscat requested the inquiry to exonerate himself and his wife. In the CapitalOne case, Muscat set up the inquiry to damn Fenech Adami.
Despite the CapitalOne Inquiry’s conclusions, Muscat’s Labour party still falsely claimed that the police investigation stopped when Fenech Adami’s name cropped up. Fenech Adami was director of Baltimore Fiduciary, which owned CapitalOne as nominee, a position he resigned in 2016.
But Mizzi was still perpetuating Labour’s lies. He was frantically trying to conceal his own dirty tricks. Mizzi appointed his own accountant, Brian Tonna, to chair the selection committee that awarded Electrogas the multi million euro contract. Tonna set up Mizzi’s secret Panama company.
While Mizzi made wild baseless accusations against the chairman of the PAC bizarrely accusing him of involvement in drugs, he openly defended Yorgen Fenech. “Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he screamed. “This is a jeopardy of justice”.
Like coral, Mizzi had a symbiotic relationship with the suspected money launderer and murderer. Mizzi leaked commercially sensitive state information to the tycoon while he was minister.
No wonder Mizzi filibustered for hours. The whole session was taken up by Mizzi’s intentionally prolonged “presentation” and his frantic screaming, clearly aimed at obstructing the committee from asking him questions. His strategy was staunchly supported by Glenn Bedingfield.
When Karol Aquilina pointed out that witnesses were only allowed a 10-minute presentation, Bedingfield objected. “How much longer will your presentation last?” Mizzi was asked. “I don’t know,” was his answer, “I’m probably about a third through”.
With Mizzi, the future is certain. He will continue to dodge questions, evade the truth, frustrate the committee and insult the nation. And Labour will continue to protect him.
The memory of justice is long. One day soon, Mizzi will realise that he is the scapegoat – expelled from the parliamentary group, hauled before committees, prosecuted and charged. His dear friends Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri are nowhere to be seen.