Electrogas says it is not corrupt

Statement fails to address many shocking allegations

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

While on Friday evening Electrogas published a statement defending itself from allegations of corruption it failed to explain the many allegations in the public domain and the shocking revelations made in Court and during the public inquiry on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

While an independent investigation by the National Audit Office in 2018 found “multi-instances of non-compliance” in the Electrogas bid to win the contract, Electrogas in a statement on Friday said that the review they commissioned “found no evidence of any wrongdoing during the bidding stage, construction of the powerplant and the operational activities of Electrogas”. The NAO had not investigated the construction stage and operational activities.

Electrogas noted that during 2019 three new Directors were appointed on its board and in view of the ongoing public domain allegations of corruption, wrongdoing or impropriety relating to the project “an extensive internal legal and forensic review” was conducted which found no evidence of any wrongdoing.

No profit as yet

Electrogas said that up till now the company did not register a profit as this is a long term project. In the detailed statement, Electrogas said that it made no profit from the sale of LNG to Enemalta, saying this was a “pass-through cost”. Instead, it makes its money by charging a fixed fee for electricity that its power station produces, with the fee not dependent on the amount of energy Enemalta buys from it.

No mention of 17 Black

In its statement, Electrogas did not explain why, according to the auditors of disgraced former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and former Minister Konrad Mizzi, Yorgen Fenech as the owner of 17 Black was going to pay thousands of euros every day to Schembri and Mizzi. Fenech was the CEO of Tumas Group who is a shareholder of Electrogas. Besides, Fenech was also a shareholder independently of the Tumas Group.

Did the emails kill Daphne?

The statement by Electrogas referred to the emails published in the media “that form part of a cache of data illegally retrieved from EGM’s servers in breach of the law.” It said that at “no point has EGM or persons quoted or included in the emails been contacted for comment.” It said that it was in late December 2017 that the company discovered a breach to its IT systems “and subsequently reported this criminal offence to the police. A Magisterial Inquiry is ongoing and to EGM’s knowledge, the perpetrator of this illegal act has not been identified as yet.”

While in four lines the statement described the revelation of these emails to Daphne Caruana Galizia as illegal it did not refer to the shocking revelations in Court about these same emails. During the compilation of evidence in the case against Yorgen Fenech accused of being the mastermind of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia Inspector Zahra, one of the investigators, said that the police believe that Caruana Galizia was killed because of what she probably was going to publish on Electrogas based on the emails she had received.

Matthew Caruana Galizia said that had his mother had time to publish these emails Electrogas would have had to go into liquidation.

The statement by Electrogas did not address the objections that the Ministry of Finance had to the massive loan that was guaranteed by Government against the advice of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance.