Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti
While Minister Ian Borg insists he had nothing to do with the driving licences scandal, The Shift has traced a number used to pass on messages to the accused Transport Malta official Clint Mansueto straight to Borg’s core team.
The Shift has followed court proceedings and traced a number mentioned in the testimony of a mobile services provider to discover it was answered by Glorianne Micallef Portelli – the Head of Minister Ian Borg’s customer care office.
When contacted, she admitted the number was hers. The Shift asked her why she was using the number for messaging Mansueto about who should pass driving tests. The newsroom also asked what information she would relay to Mansueto and on whose behalf.
Agitated, Micallef Portelli asked for questions to be sent by email, then hung up and switched off her phone.
Ian Borg, now foreign affairs minister, has insisted he was not the minister mentioned in court proceedings in which three Transport Malta officials are accused of corruption in driving examinations. Borg was the transport minister at the time.
A representative of Epic Communications confirmed in court that incriminating messages found on Mansueto’s phone came from a phone registered in the name of Maria Assunta Camilleri and from another phone registered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Camilleri has already been charged in court and admitted to bribing Mansueto, but the owner of the other Foreign Affairs Ministry’s phone number has not been made public until now.
When contacted, Borg refused to answer when The Shift asked him to explain how the number mentioned in court led straight to the head of his ‘customer care’ team, citing court proceedings.
A spokesperson only said, “We were informed that there is no reason for the ministry’s mobile number holder to be under investigation in relation to this case.”
He added: “We believe that the outcome of court proceedings will clarify the reason why this particular ministry-registered number was presented in these court proceedings.”
The ministry provided no explanation on how it was informed of ongoing investigations.
When asked to clarify relations with Glorianne Micallef Portelli, the ministry said it was “a professional working relationship”.
The Shift is informed that Minister Borg and Micallef Portelli go back a long way to when he was Dingli’s mayor.
It is also known that Micallef Portelli is very close to Ian Borg’s chief canvasser and advisor, Jesmond Zammit.
The Shift has already reported how the Transport Malta racket, which involved the passing of names close to the Party in government for leniency during driving tests, was conceived in the offices of Ian Borg’s Ministry and Transport Malta.
Zammit or his representatives passed on recommendations to Transport Malta officials, including Rachel Debono, at the time PA to the chairman and now the Prime Minister’s secretary, and to Kevin Farrugia, Deputy CEO and canvasser of Ian Borg. The recommendations were then passed on to Mansueto for implementation.
Donald Gouder, another Transport Malta senior official and canvasser of Ian Borg, has also been mentioned in court by the police over his involvement in the scandal. He has still not been arraigned.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Robert Abela insists that none of his ministers is involved in the corruption case.