A young entrepreneur facing criminal charges of alleged kidnapping will not be allowed to supply leased cars to members of the judiciary after an appeal he filed against the Court Services Agency was rejected.
The Shift is informed that the Public Contracts Review Board (PCRB) decided this week that the contracting authority which disqualified Christian Borg’s company from the €3 million tender was right on several counts, including that Borg tried to submit data on past lease contracts that turned out to be incorrect. One of those contracts concerned the leasing of cars to the Office of the Prime Minister.
The PCRB rejected arguments made by Borg’s lawyer, Albert Libreri, that the authority went beyond its legal remit in its evaluation, stating that the decision was based on “reasonable and sound” evaluation where all the bidders were on a level playing field.
Borg is under ongoing police investigation over possible involvement in money laundering and drug trafficking rings, and did not appear at the hearing.
His lawyer was accompanied by Joe Camenzuli, a director of Princess Operations Ltd and until a few months ago the official photographer of the governing Labour Party.
The government tender, published in May, called for a five-year lease of 48 plug-in hybrid cars for the personal use of all members of the judiciary, including the Chief Justice, Judges and Magistrates.
Eyebrows were immediately raised when The Shift revealed that Borg’s company had submitted the cheapest offer and was poised to be awarded the tender.
Members of the judiciary expressed their disgust at the situation, particularly as the future owner of their personal vehicles could end up in front of them accused of criminal offences.
The tender was cancelled following informal objections and pressure put on the OPM by members of the judiciary because the evaluation committee found none of the bidders had satisfied the necessary criteria.
At the time of this writing, the Court Services Agency has not published a new tender.
The 29-year-old Borg is believed to have accumulated a multi-million-euro personal portfolio through his business and property deals, but his criminal record has raised questions around how he came in to so much money. He was convicted of tampering with car licence plates in 2015 and of perjury in 2021, and he now stands accused of kidnapping.
Photos of Borg boasting of his close ties with Prime Minister Robert Abela surfaced on social media soon after his latest arrest, forcing the prime minister to admit their close personal connections.
It also emerged that Abela had made some €45,000 from a property deal that he made with Borg at a time when he was both serving as the man’s lawyer and acting as legal counsel for the Planning Authority.
Abela played down his connection with the accused, insisting that the deal was normal and all due taxes had been paid.