Ian Borg misled parliament. On 8 November, Borg told parliament the Malta metro launch cost €76,981.76. The unnecessary detail of the €0.76c was meant to impress on the public how conscientiously Minister Borg managed public finances.
That very day, Borg doled out 20 separate direct orders worth €424,000 to one company for that launch. That company, TEC Ltd, handles all the logistics for Labour’s mass events.
While Borg was overawing the public into respectful admiration for his integrity with his €0.76c, he concomitantly concealed the obscene sum of money he awarded Labour’s events company.
The information was surreptitiously published in the Government Gazette months later. The only information provided was that the money was spent on “Malta Metro”.
TEC Ltd is an events company. It has no expertise in underground railways. It provides tents and other event props. Yet Minister Borg paid €500,000 of our money to the lucky company.
Is it possible that while the country ran a deficit of €1.2 billion, €500,000 s was spent on the unveiling of a proposal? How did one company get €500,000 in 20 direct orders on one day for one event? Nobody believes renting a tent costs €424,000. That so much money was poured in a single day into a company handling Labour’s mass events stinks to high heavens.
But neither the FIAU nor the police will not be investigating Labour’s sordid deals with TEC Ltd. We’re not expecting raids of TEC Ltd’s offices or Minister Borg’s laptop.
Nobody will be investigated, nobody will be charged.
“There are no charges, as such against persons who were in government,” former Minister Carmelo Abela insisted, “so far what we have are allegations, speculation”. When asked directly if there was corruption, his devious answer was “there were allegations of corruption – until proven in the courts they remain allegations”.
Corruption will never be proven in the courts because Labour’s police force refuses to prosecute any of them, even when provided with detailed damning reports by the FIAU and the NAO. The corruption will never be proven when ridiculous delays in the justice system drag out even the most straightforward cases for decades.
Corruption will never be proven when the prosecution, intentionally or unwittingly, messes up so badly even in the odd case they indict that every case collapses.
“They are harming the country, and there are some who are fanning the flames,” Carmelo Abela insisted. By “they” he means those making the “allegations” of corruption, not those committing it. Those fanning the flames are harming the country not the ones behind Labour’s corrupt mega-projects – Vitals, Electrogas, DB’s St Vincent de Paul deals – roundly condemned in NAO reports.
While Labour’s former minister keeps pushing the false narrative that there was no corruption, only allegations, the US State Department has no such doubts. In a categorical statement, it announced that Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi were banned from the US “due to their involvement in significant corruption” – not allegations of corruption.
“In their official capacities… Mizzi and Schembri were involved in corrupt acts that included using their political influence and official power for their personal benefit,” the State Department announced. “There is credible information that Mizzi and Schembri were involved in a corrupt scheme that entailed the award of a government contract for the construction of a power plant in exchange for kickbacks and bribes”.
Strange how the US State Department has credible information of Labour’s significant corruption, while our police know nothing and do nothing. How come the US penalises the corrupt duo while our police simply look away? Odd how the USA, 10,000 kilometres away, knows all about Schembri and Mizzi’s bribes and kickbacks while Carmelo Abela who was in the very thick of it hasn’t twigged.
Abela must be either as thick as mince or profoundly dishonest – or possibly both.
In that same “no corruption, only allegations” interview he lied repeatedly. “The police have never spoken to me about the case,” he stated referring to allegations of his links to the HSBC heist. But on 17 May 2021, the police called in Abela for questioning about the case. He lied then too, claiming he went to the police of his own volition, but then admitted, “the police sent for me”. When asked repeatedly by journalists whether he was questioned under caution, he adamantly refused to reply, simply repeating, “I am not being investigated”.
Two days later, on 19 May, he was hauled back to the police headquarters, leaving only at 2.30pm. He previously denied testifying in court about the case, but then was forced to admit “from my own verifications, it has emerged that I had testified in court years ago”.
Abela was the minister responsible for the police. When asked whether he was happy with the police leadership, he replied: “I think that during that period there was no criticism of police inaction”. Abela was minister for home affairs between December 2014 and June 2017. And there was plenty of criticism during his time.
The police found no criminal behaviour in Neville Gafa’s medical visa scandal in a farcical police investigation. Now the court has ordered police investigations into Gafa’s alleged bribery attempts of witnesses in the visa scandal.
Manfred Galdes resigned from the FIAU over police inaction. Police Commissioner Michael Cassar resigned days after receiving the FIAU report. The police failed to investigate how Evarist Bartolo’s canvasser got €400,000 to build an apartment block. And the Panama papers exposed Mizzi and Schembri. All happened during Abela’s time. And the police did nothing.
Lawrence Cutajar was appointed police commissioner on 27 April 2016 while Abela was minister. Abela claimed, “Lawrence Cutajar was there after I left”. But Abela handed Cutajar his letter of appointment himself. Abela lied again.
When Abela denies any corruption, he’s at it again. Just allegations. Only 20 direct orders. In one day. To one company. Just half a million.