Disgraced former energy minister Konrad Mizzi did not provide straight answers regarding how he first met former Electrogas shareholder and Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech during another public accounts committee (PAC) hearing on the Electrogas deal.
While Mizzi did admit that he had attended meetings involving Electrogas’ board of directors as well as being present in tender selection and negotiation proceedings in which Fenech was present, he claimed that he was not aware of any meetings related to Electrogas that may have been held privately between the two.
Mizzi and his lawyers, Carol Peralta and Jean Paul Sammut, resorted to stonewalling tactics which have been used repeatedly throughout every sitting in which Mizzi made an appearance.
Overall, hardly any questions were answered given that the two-hour sitting was yet again hamstrung by lengthy, partisan spats, with Mizzi often resorting to digs at the Opposition’s time in government to deflect from answering the questions being posed.
Clinging to a ruling from the Speaker of the House which vaguely referred to a need for questions posed by the PAC to be “objective” in their nature, Mizzi vehemently refused to answer most of the questions posed by the committee by simply stating that questions were either not objective or not explicitly referred to in the auditor general’s report on the Electrogas deal.
Using these rebuttals, Mizzi did not answer questions about his interactions with Fenech, including an alleged text conversation between them following Fenech’s loss of his mobile phone in January 2019, questions which were posed by Opposition MP Karol Aquilina.
Mizzi took umbrage at Aquilina’s line of questioning, asking about how Aquilina sourced the information, to begin with, with his lawyers accusing Aquilina of abusing alleged sources within the police force and of engaging in a “fishing expedition”.
The former energy minister did not answer questions probing his repeated messages to Fenech about whether he had deleted conversations between the two.
Mizzi was also vague about other figures involved in the Electrogas deal – in particular, he dodged questions about his association with at least four individuals with whom he had ties before being elected to government. The same individuals were also involved in Labour’s working group prior to the Party being elected to govern in 2013, all of whom ended up on the committees that awarded the tender to Electrogas.
Similar to the last sitting two weeks ago, Mizzi did not provide details about whether he had any associations with David Galea (Beat Ltd), Brian Tonna (Nexia BT) and other members of the selection and negotiation committees that awarded the tender to Electrogas.
Mizzi also did not answer questions about how disgraced former chief of staff Keith Schembri was involved in Electrogas negotiations and whether Schembri was present in meetings held at Castille that revolved around the financing of the project. Mizzi did not confirm whether the meetings even occurred.