Robert Abela ‘lied’ to journalists about undeclared Xewkija land – Cassola

Independent politician Arnold Cassola in a press release on Tuesday has claimed that on Monday, Robert Abela “lied to the people” and journalists when asked about a property purchased in Xewkija and his wealth declarations.

Discrepancies in Abela’s ministerial wealth declarations were first revealed by The Shift on Sunday. Abela omitted the new acquisition of a plot of land in Xewkija, and the money paid for it was not reflected in his declared bank balances.

Responding to journalists’ questions on Monday, Abela claimed the Xewkija property was part of a larger plot, including an adjacent property he had already declared.

“It is the same property that was bought through several contracts – one property next to another – this was declared most clearly,” he said. He called Cassola’s calls for a Standards Commissioner investigation unfounded.

In response to Abela’s claims, Cassola stated on Wednesday that Abela “has lied to the people.” The plot, known as “Ta’ Ħanżira”, is “totally distinct and separate from the [other, adjacent] Xewkija property which the Abela spouses had bought in 2012,” he said.

The additional land purchased in 2022 is reflected in the expansion of a Planning Authority permit last year.

A contract of sale, which The Shift had already obtained before the article’s publication on Sunday, was also published by Cassola alongside his statement.

“As can be seen from the contract of sale of the Ta’ Ħanżira plot of land, this is a separate property and was only acquired… ten years after the [2012] house had been bought,” he noted.

The contract clearly states that a 500-square-metre plot of land was sold to Abela and his wife Lydia on 13 April 2022.

In his comments to the Times of Malta, Abela claimed that “what he declared was in complete conformity with the declaration of assets rules. I paid for it via cheque and did not pay a cent in cash.”

The Prime Minister’s wealth declarations in 2021 and 2022 do not reflect the purchase of the Xewkija plot of land.

Abela’s 2021 and 2022 wealth declarations do not reflect or reference the purchase of an additional plot of land adjacent to his existing Xewkija property.

Furthermore, the declarations show that Abela did not sell any property in 2021 to fund the 2022 purchase, nor did his bank balance reflect a decrease of the €180,000 paid.

Additionally, his 2022 declaration, the last one publicly available, fails to mention the acquisition of more land in April of that year.

A copy of the contract of sale between the former landowners and the Abelas.

                           

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay in the know

Get special updates directly in your inbox
Don't worry we do not spam
                           
                               
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Simon Camilleri
Simon Camilleri
13 days ago

I assume he will now be investigated by the tax department as we would?

viv
viv
12 days ago

In a non-mafia country, absolutely.

D. Borg
D. Borg
12 days ago

the crux of the problem is that the politicians who are supposedly serving us out of vocation, have rendered the Declaration of Assets practically useless – by purposely giving scant and vague information (when legible at all).

-The DoA should include again the Assets & Liabilities of SPOUSES, Partners, and Children – something Joseph Muscat had removed (possibly after “someone” had allegedly conveniently forged Michelle’s signature on the Egrant documents).
-The said Assets & Liabilities need to be reported with FULL details, enabling a fair valuation and/or determination thereof.
-The Income flows need to be specifically identified and quantified.

In Abela’s case, it appears that he:
-used his spouse’s bank account to pay for the property in question,
-maintained vague reference to land at Xewkija, without specifying at least the square meters owned
-practically spits on the DoA by refusing to record his income by simply scribbling ‘remuneration of a PM’. Thank goodness for that, as otherwise we may assume he’s holding office on a pro bono basis, or accepting as nominal compensation the salary paid to a watchman!

One would expect the Leader of the Opposition (at times it seems unclear whether this is Dr. Bernard Grech, or Profs. Arnold Cassola), to declare and preferably sign a binding document, that should the respective party in Opposition be voted in to lead a new government, the Declaration of Assets will be enforced and compiled in ample detail to enable independent journalists and/or auditors to conduct a proper capital accretion exercise.
It will only be then, that the DoA will serve its purpose and deter politicians from indulging into blatant corruption that Malta seems drowning into by the day.

Greed
Greed
12 days ago

Looks like the mafia talks like the mafia acts like the mafia so probably is the mafia?

Related Stories

Evans Building concession winner admits mistake, claims insignificance
Valletta Luxury Projects (VLP) – a consortium owned by
‘Unacceptable’ lack of FIAU law updates despite millions in cancelled fines
The government remains unwilling to update legislation governing how

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo