The Public Accounts Committee suspended a meeting that was meant to look into Nexia BT’s Karl Cini’s involvement in the ElectroGas scandal after barely ten minutes as Cini continued to stick to his guns and keep quiet.
The committee was set to continue discussing the Auditor General’s report on the ElectroGas deal and hear Cini’s testimony but at this afternoon’s brief meeting, Cini’s lawyer Stephen Tonna Lowell continued to argue that Cini’s fundamental rights to silence and to not incriminate himself in ongoing magisterial inquiries came before any public interest.
Cini invoked his right to silence once more, stating that they would only reconsider if the Constitutional Court ruled that they were not afforded this right. Cini filed for the court’s guidance on 21 February,
Cini has so far not answered a single question before of the Public Accounts Committee for fear of incriminating himself in ongoing criminal cases. Cini also refused to answer questions related to his dealings with former prime minister Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, and former ElectroGas director Yorgen Fenech.
Nexia BT, led by Brian Tonna and in which Karl Cini was a partner, had representatives on an evaluation committee that approved the ElectroGas consortium’s bid in October 2013.
In Friday’s meeting, Cini appeared briefly as a witness along with his lawyer Stephen Tonna Lowell, who is also representing Brian Tonna, in what was his third sitting in front of the committee.
The other two sittings were on 1 February and 14 February.
In the second sitting, a ruling was given on Cini’s address stating that his invocation of the right to remain silent rendered him prima facie guilty of a breach of privilege.
The ruling meant Cini was found in contempt of the House and was referred to the Standing Committee on Privileges for further scrutiny. This will be the privileges committee’s first meeting under this legislature.
Despite having been recently struck from the Malta Financial Services Authority’s register due to various ongoing money laundering and fraud proceedings, Cini, along with Brian Tonna, and the now defunct Nexia BT have not been fined by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit.
This is not the first time that both Cini and Tonna have invoked their right to silence, with their lawyer opting for this strategy in front of several committees.
In September 2020, the court ordered the freezing of assets for Cini, Tonna and his partners, their families and associated companies. Nexia BT also lost its licence to sell citizenship through a subsidiary, BT International Limited.
cini you’re next in line. Another corrupt troll from the super dirty muvument korrott.
It’s about time he was taken to court and advised that his continued “right to silence” would be construed as contempt of court and a period of reflection in the cells should be advocated to clarify his thought process. However Omerta is a powerful tool.
I cannot understand how a witness in Court who refuses to answer questions is locked up until he cooperates and in this case………..
The two fora are different – and empowered differently by different legislation.
Is Karl Cini ready to go to jail to cover Muscat? Probably better than in a cooler place.
By remaining silence in PAC committees Karl Cini will be protecting fraud and scandals and blocks the truth from coming out. If Cini feels threatened of talking or implicating himself, there are other means of protecting himself but not by remaining silent.