Repubblika on Monday morning requested that the courts include revelations published by The Shift and The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation in four ongoing magisterial inquiries dealing with government corruption.
The Shift on Sunday revealed a secret agreement showing how the government bent over backwards for the power station deal to see the light of day, having gone so far as to have guaranteed it would cover Electrogas’ debts should fiscal matters go awry.
This deal was kept hidden from the public and the European Commission topped a bank guarantee of €420 million already given to Electrogas on taxpayers’ backs.
The information is contained in the LNG Security of Supply Agreement signed by disgraced former energy minister Konrad Mizzi in April 2015. The government went to extremes to keep it under lock and key, and it is little wonder why: the document was a blank cheque for SOCAR Trading that was even kept hidden from the European Commission
Although requests for copies of the document, even those tabled in parliament, have been constantly denied, the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation obtained a copy after year-long freedom of information battle with the energy ministry following The Shift’s reporting in October 2020 on the existence of this agreement and its significance.
“This guarantee was not part of the conditions of the public competition won by Electrogas and even though the government said otherwise,” Repubblika said. “It was not among the government’s submissions to the European Commission when the latter found the project in compliance with the competition rules”.
“Now that the document has been made public after years in which it was hidden away by the government, there is a clear suspicion that the agreement violated state aid laws.”
Protesters to demand action over latest corruption revelations tomorrow in Valletta
Protesters will be taking to the streets of Valletta on Tuesday evening to demand action over the latest corruption revelations in which the government is embroiled.
They mentioned two recent cases of particular interest: the police’s one and a half-year’s inaction on the Pilatus Bank case brought to light in court earlier this week by Repubblika, and The Shift’s report on Sunday of a secret agreement between Konrad Mizzi on behalf of the government and SOCAR acquired by the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation.
“A class of politicians and their cronies are considered untouchable by certain sectors of our institutions,” the organisers said in a joint statement on Monday morning.
“This is totally unacceptable. We refuse to tolerate the fact that in our country, a certain class of people continues to be considered above the law. We refuse to listen to any more empty chatter. We demand action.
“The Police Corps and the Attorney General’s Office are still instruments of impunity for politicians and their cronies, just as they were when they were led by Lawrence Cutajar and Peter Grech.”
Protesters will meet for the ‘We Demand Action Against Corruption’ protest on Tuesday 6 September at 7.30pm starting from Wembley Stores on Republic Street.
When the protest march reaches Great Siege Square, Repubblika said its president, in relation to the Pilatus inquiry, “will reveal word for word the order given by the Inquiring Magistrate to the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General – an order that was blatantly ignored”.
Konrad Mizzi to be asked to appear again before Public Accounts Committee
The Nationalist Party members of the Parliamentary Committee for Public Accounts this morning said that disgraced former energy minister Konrad Mizzi will be asked to appear before the committee since, “After what was revealed yesterday, it is clear that the former Labour Deputy Leader Konrad Mizzi still has something to answer for”.
The opposition’s Spokesperson for Energy and Enterprise Mark Anthony Sammut said on Sunday after The Shift’s story, “It is no wonder that the government did everything to hide this agreement and refused to present it in parliament.”
He explained how, “On the contrary, in parliamentary questions on 15 and 22 June 2015, he [Mizzi] lied and apart from refusing to publish it, he said that the agreement was being discussed with the European Commission. Today we are finding out that this agreement was not discussed with the European Commission as it was kept hidden from the EC for fear of it going against European rules and principles”.
“All this continues to show how this government is not to be believed or trusted when it comes to the energy sector. We cannot rely on any figures or calculations that Robert Abela and Minister Miriam Dalli give us unless they publish every contract and every agreement linked to the sector.”