Borg Olivier questions ‘devious’ Apap Bologna testimony in Daphne inquiry

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The testimony given by ElectroGas Malta shareholder Paul Apap Bologna in the public inquiry on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia was strongly challenged by former PN secretary general Paul Borg Olivier, who said that the businessman was being “devious… to say the least.”

Apap Bologna had met Borg Olivier to peddle a power station project which was remarkably similar to the one eventually granted to ElectroGas by a Labour government.

At the inquiry, the businessman claimed that the meeting was held in 2007 or 2008, but Borg Olivier emphasised that it took place later, stating that it was clear that the date was misrepresented “to distance the meeting to a time before Joseph Muscat became leader of the Opposition.”

Borg Olivier, who noted that he only assumed the party post in July 2008, added that the meeting actually took place in mid-2009, “when Joseph Muscat had anointed Keith Schembri as the chairperson of the Labour Party Energy working group, travelling to Libya together seeking energy proposals.”

In his testimony, Apap Bologna had also made reference to the Environment and Resources Authority, even though it had not yet been set up. The ERA was a Labour government creation, created when the former Malta Environment and Planning Authority was split.

People behind Gasol ’were very shady’

Apap Bologna also claimed that the presentation he delivered to the PN was drafted by Gasol, which had been the lead partner of the ElectroGas consortium before dropping out in 2015 in the face of mounting debts and losses.

But Borg Olivier said that Gasol were only one of the partners in the proposed project and that Apap Bologna presented himself as the lead partner,

He also highlighted that a simple online search he made after the meeting “clearly showed that Gasol did not have a great record, and the people behind it were very shady, to say the least.”

Borg Olivier was also contemptuous of the businessman’s claims that he had not met the Labour Party before 2013, only to quickly dust off the shelf report once Muscat announced the project in January of that year, in the midst of an electoral campaign.

“You were in Court where justice must be done. This is no place for jesters. There is another place reserved for them,” he insisted, adding that even a 3-year old would find it difficult to believe such a claim.

‘Quite a coincidence’

The former PN secretary-general said that it was quite a coincidence that GEM, the name for a consortium company incorporated in 2013 between Apap Bologna, Fenech and Gasan, was the same name in his 2009 presentation, adding that it was “quite a coincidence.”

“It looks like one of the finger-prints on the alleged done deal,” he added.

Apap Bologna also deflected questions about the stark similarities between the 2009 proposal and the project awarded to his consortium, and Borg Olivier highlighted that the businessman did not elaborate on how he that fateful presentation was concluded. The final slide concluded with the words “decision is yours – we will do our part if you do yours,” in an apparent solicitation of a quid pro quo.

“This statement is history with all that his power station has brought with it,” Borg Olivier concluded.