‘Good reason to withhold Marsa junction documents’, IM tells Cassola

According to Infrastructure Malta, “there is good reason for withholding the document[s] requested” on the Marsa junction project from independent political candidate Arnold Cassola, who is further lifting the lid off a corruption scandal on the multi-million-euro flyover project.

What that “good reason” is, however, is unknown since Infrastructure Malta vaguely denied the request “by virtue of Part V or Part VI” of the Freedom of Information Act when denying Cassola the documentation he requested without citing any particular Article of the law in question, Cassola told The Shift when contacted. earlier today

As such, Cassola was informed that the “disclosure of information related to the Marsa project works is excluded as per Freedom of Information Act.”

“This request was done in order to shed light on the murkiness regarding the Marsa Junction deals,” Cassola said this morning. “However, Infrastructure Malta has preferred to foster its culture of secrecy and hide essential information.

Parts Part V and VI of the Freedom of Information Act contain every single reason the government can give for denying freedom of information requests, and, as such, Cassola has been left in the dark not only in terms of the information requested but also when it comes to the reason for the refusal.

“Infrastructure Malta is giving a blanket refusal to all my requests. Why all this secrecy? What is Infrastructure Malta trying to hide from the Maltese people?”

Cassola last month filed a Freedom of Information request for copies of documents such as tenders, direct orders and agreements that Infrastructure Malta struck with Robert Yildrim and his companies.

He has also requested information on payments made, any form of communication with the former minister responsible, Ian Borg, and former Infrastructure Malta CEO Fredrick Azzopardi regarding the original contractor Ayhanlar’s difficulties in completing the project as well as Robert Yildrim’s subsequent involvement in the project.

Cassola additionally requested the minutes of Infrastructure Malta Board of Directors meetings when the Marsa Project, Aylanhar, Yildrim, Shining Star Infrastructure and Construction were discussed, as well as a copy of the Board’s resolution authorising the re-assignment of the tender to Yildrim’s Shining Star Infrastructure and Construction.

But, despite the breadth of the documents requested, Infrastructure Malta did not make a single one available and cited an elusive “good reason” for withholding them.

The development comes after Cassola last Saturday gave Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa’ evidence on what he said were “grave illegalities in relation to a major project” and requested the police to urgently investigate the claims.

Referring to the Marsa junction project, Cassola said anonymous whistleblowers had leaked to him primary sources of information “that clearly demonstrate that blatant illegalities went on with regards to a multi-million major project in our country”.

He said there was there is strong evidence pointing to the involvement of at least two well-known people, as well as lesser-known people, on insider information, irregular and untransparent behind-the-scenes negotiations, fronts involved in the tendering process, a strong suspicion of commissions skimming and inexplicable bank payments.

Cassola said, “In a country like ours, where it seems that the moral compass has been totally lost, it is imperative that the police conduct serious investigations speedily, not only to ensure that the authors of all misdemeanours are brought to book but also to show that proper ethical behaviour and real justice have not been banished from our country.

“This case is an extremely serious one which can rock the foundations of the nation. I have informed Commissioner Gafa’ that if I am not called in to explain the contents of my missive by the end of this month, I will resort to further legal action.”

On 2 October, The Times of Malta reported EU anti-fraud prosecutors were looking into evidence of potential corruption in the €40 million Marsa flyover contract.

                           
                           
                               
guest

2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Francis Said
Francis Said
12 days ago

There is absolutely no reason to withhold information when projects are financed by taxpayers’ funds and the EU. This only leads to inflame the feeling that corruption is part and parcel of the absence of good and transparent governance.
The only exception to this is when it relates to national security. The PM and the Leader of the Opposition should only have access to this information.

Albert Beliard
Albert Beliard
12 days ago

“Infrastructure Malta is giving a blanket refusal to all my requests. Why all this secrecy? What is Infrastructure Malta trying to hide from the Maltese people?”

Malta has landed into deep shit welcoming Turkish businesses to Malta for business opportunities/projects using EU funds because there is a widespread conspiracy occurring on an international level where this tiny EU country will be later recognized as a Malta Laundromat, hand-in-hand with the former Azerbaijan Laundromat in aiding the Iranian regime.

The growing situation is bad and this government must be ready to apply crisis management policies and enter into reforms which are urgently required.

Related Stories

Prime Minister won’t disclose contract for aide appointed Cabinet Secretary
Prime Minister Robert Abela refuses to disclose the contract
Silvio Schembri courted catastrophe
Minister Silvio Schembri tweeted in April 2018 the flattering

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo