A review of Mr Justice Francesco Depasquale’s judgement confirming the 2015 €4 billion fraudulent hospitals deal was one of the biggest heists ever perpetrated against the State, shows there were many government enablers who either gave the illicit contracts their stamp of approval or looked the other way when they had been duty-bound to raise the alarm.
The judgement and summaries of testimony given in the case expose one consistent and common denominator: all the enablers were quick to tell the court they had nothing to do with the deal, they were just following orders, or they weren’t aware of the plot unfolding before their very eyes.
These include the politicians passing the buck around and politically-appointed officials and senior civil servants of otherwise good standing.
While the fraud and corruption exposed in court cemented the common understanding of how the government had been entirely captured by a three-man-clan headed by disgraced Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and comprising his associates Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, there were many others who not only unquestioningly obeyed orders but even facilitated the clan’s roadmap.
Former prime minister Joseph Muscat’s cabinet members were among the most notorious enablers. Despite seeing the rotten deal taking shape, they either lent a helping hand or removed obstacles to the premeditated deals being realised.
Ministers Chris Fearne and his former cabinet colleagues Chris Cardona and Edward Scicluna were the first in line.
While they now all claim they did not know anything and that the deals – that have now been lambasted by the courts as having been premeditatedly crafted out of corruption for self-enrichment – were struck behind their backs, the facts that came out from the case tell a different story.
The table lists the enablers mentioned in the court judgment. Click on the arrow at the bottom of the table, or search to see more names.
Chris Fearne, now Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, had been Parliamentary Secretary for Health under Konrad Mizzi. But after Mizzi’s resignation in disgrace in the Panama Papers fallout, he was fully responsible for the fraudulent deal, which he supported wholeheartedly.
Fearne was also personally responsible for the concession being sold from Vitals to Steward Health Care in 2017. So much so he even flew to Boston to consent for Vitals to transfer its shares over to Steward.
Despite this and other negotiations with Steward over the years since, and after approving additional, ever-increasing payments for Steward, he now says he is not to be held responsible.
Former Economy Minister Chris Cardona, who signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Vitals’ shareholders before the tender was even issued, for his part insists he was simply following orders from above.
Cardona’s cabinet colleague, former finance minister Edward Scicluna – the most empowered minister to stop the deal – also testified that he did not know anything even though tens of millions of euros were paid out of the State coffers for which he was directly responsible.
His permanent secretary, Alfred Camilleri, known for his no-nonsense approach under the previous Nationalist administration, was also a director of Projects Malta. This agency negotiated and finalised the deal for Konrad Mizzi.
Camilleri, however, insists he did not know anything either, even though he admitted he had never seen a tender like that for the three state hospitals in his long career.
Other political appointees known for their loyalty and beholden to Mizzi and other ministers similarly testified that they were unaware of anything untoward.
Evaluation and adjudication committee chairman James Camenzuli, who was aided by Nexia BT’s Manuel Castagna and the GWU’s financial factotum Robert Borg, played down his crucial role as one of Mizzi’s chief enablers of the deal.
Camenzuli told the court that due diligence had not been carried out and that “it was the government’s decision at the end of the day”.
Camenzuli has been retained by Muscat’s successor, Prime Minister Robert Abela and is now responsible for millions of euros in disbursements for renewable energy subsidies granted by the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS). He is also the chief executive officer at Projects Plus, a Projects Malta subsidiary.
Other prime enablers include Ronald Mizzi, Konrad Mizzi’s former permanent secretary, who was involved in many aspects of Mizzi’s shady deals. Also included in the list is David Galea, Mizzi’s childhood friend and a consultant on all the Muscat triumvirate’s major projects.
A magisterial inquiry was launched in 2019. It is expected to name the protagonists and enablers who are to face actual criminal charges for fraud, misappropriation, money laundering and other criminal acts. That inquiry is still in the works four years, and a damning National Audit Office report later.
Kieku IRRIDU jaghmlu xogholhom kif suppost u gafa il kummisarju ma joqghodx ihares lejn il WARRANI TA dawn il kriminali ikollom jibnu habs gdid. Allura EU dawn l affarijiet u hnizrijiet ma tatix kashom?
With this massive corruption by the Labour party in government, the general elections of 2017 and 2023 should be declared rigged and corrupt.
And when is the inquiry expected to be concluded ? If nobody is jailed or made to pay for his wrongdoings, theft & fraud, nothing will change !!! No excuses.
The only solution is to take to the streets, this is now long overdue!
Like Germany after the war, there was not one single Nazi in Germany. In Malta it is even worse. Even Muscat is declaring virginity. It is time for Invictus to be evicted from society .
Except for Albert Speer, the architect and Armaments Minister.
Nuremberg principles – Wikipedia
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The Nuremberg principles are a set of guidelines for determining what constitutes a war crime. The document was created by the International Law Commission …
The principles · The Principles’ power or lack… · Examples of the principles…
This massive corruption should be classed as a crime against humanity.
The protest on Sunday should have just one aim – to bring down this Government.
The time is ripe…..!
CLEAN THEM ALL OUT…!