Konrad Mizzi’s protégé Aron Mifsud Bonnici still on tourism ministry payroll

Aron Mifsud Bonnici is being investigated for allegedly transferring funds to Yorgen Fenech for weapons purchases.

 

The General Workers’ Union lawyer, who spent years as the unofficial right-hand man of disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi, was kept on the tourism ministry’s payroll last year long after the minister’s departure in 2020.

Prime Minister Robert Abela’s government paid Aron Mifsud Bonnici over €14,000 in consultancy fees in 2021, according to new information tabled in parliament.

Replying to questions from Opposition MP Ivan Castillo, Minister Clayton Bartolo admitted that Mifsud Bonnici was kept on as a government consultant in 2021, even though Mizzi had been forced to resign in 2020 and was dismissed from the Labour Party a few weeks later.

The tourism minister did not specify what type of consultancy Mifsud Bonnici had supplied and only described his work for the ministry generically as ‘legal consultancy’. Mifsud Bonnici is being investigated for allegedly transferring funds to Yorgen Fenech for weapons purchases.

According to US investigators, Mifsud Bonnici sent from his accounts at Coinbase and Poloniex 1 Bitcoin to Fenech, 0.9 Bitcoin of which Fenech then used for purchasing weapons.

Mifsud Bonnici – who replaced the Prime Minister’s father, George Abela, at the GWU’s legal office when he was removed from the position by the union’s previous administration – was closely involved in the shady deals Konrad Mizzi had been involved in – from the scandalous concession of three public hospitals for Vitals Global Healthcare, to the Delimara power station project, and to the sale of the ITS site in St Julian’s.

He had accompanied Konrad Mizzi on various overseas trips, including to China, Dubai and Montenegro. At the same time, Mifsud Bonnici acted as Mizzi’s private lawyer.

The gravy train

According to the information tabled in the House, over the last three years, top legal firm Camilleri Preziosi had benefitted most from legal consultancies for the tourism ministry.

Mostly through direct orders, Camilleri Preziosi, led by lawyer Louis De Gabriele, the President of the Chamber of Advocates, was paid €250,000 in legal consultancy fees.

The tourism ministry’s latest consultancies tabled in parliament.

Another two well-connected Labour loyalists also received tourism ministry consultancy payments.

Lawyer Chris Cilia, an unsuccessful Labour candidate who frequently appears on television, acting as an ‘independent commentator’, was paid €30,000 in 2021 as a tourism ministry consultant. He was awarded the contract through direct order. Cilia sits on several government boards, by political appointment, including at Indis Malta.

E-Cubed, Bank of Valletta chairman Gordon Cordina’s private company, was also given a new consultancy project and was paid almost €10,000. No details were given on the assignment.

Despite acting as the government’s nominee as Chairman of Malta’s largest Bank, Cordina is a regular direct orders beneficiary with consultancy contracts across various ministries and government entities, some of them with significant commercial interests with the bank.

Cordina insists he has no conflict of interest between his public role and his private commercial interests.

                           
                           
                               
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Bamboccu
Bamboccu
1 month ago

Il ktieb ta’ Gorg Mifsud jismu
Gahan u hrejjef ohra.
Il Legat li qed ihejji Robert Abela huwa
Gvern Laborista u Hnizrijiet ohra!

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