Oh look, another coincidence
On 19 May, 2015, Konrad Mizzi, as Minister for Energy and Health, issued a press release announcing the preferred bidders for the €200-million investment in our health system. Among the companies mentioned, Vitals Global Healthcare.
Claudette Buttigieg is a PN MP – firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter: @ButClaudette
There are several odd things about this case. One is that, a few months earlier, this company was called Vitalis, not Vitals. Get this straight: The company which applied for the tender, and the company that actually won the tender, have different names. The second strange fact is that the three Vitals companies involved in the actual signing of the contracts were set up over a very short stretch of time.
How short? A six-day period: 12-18 May, 2015.
In other words, it looks like Konrad Mizzi’s preferred bidders were set up on the eve of his announcement that they had been chosen. Quite literally on the eve: The conclusion of the setting up takes place on 18 May; our Konrad, bless him, announces on 19 May.
Still believe it is all a coincidence? Then take a look at another coincidence of dates: 30 November, 2015 and 2 December, 2015.
On 30 November, Mizzi signed, on behalf of the government of Malta, the contracts with Vitals.
Two days later, Mizzi’s special personal accountant – Nexia BT representative, Karl Cini – gave Mossack Fonseca the go-ahead to process the set-up of a bank account for Konrad Mizzi (and, let’s not forget, another for Keith Schembri).
A bank account, mind you, that required Mizzi and Schembri to deposit an initial sum of €1 million, to be topped up by an annual million every year. We know from Mizzi’s financial declarations to Parliament that he does not have that kind of money. To keep up with those deposits, Mizzi would need to have the money come from elsewhere.
Could this be another coincidence?
I clearly remember the famous press conference when Prime Minister Muscat announced the €200-million investment. That evening I asked Minister Konrad Mizzi lots of questions, which to date have remained unanswered. Was this a done deal? The then health Minister had denied this. Was he being honest or was he misleading Parliament?
Yet another story is emerging in connection with Vitals. It concerns documents not published by the current health minister Chris Fearne when he tabled the contracts in response to my persistent parliamentary question. The main document is a side letter published by blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia on her website. This letter was signed, once again, by Konrad Mizzi. But, by the time he signed this, he was no longer minister for health.
The obvious question is whether Fearne knew much about the content of the documents he tabled in parliament.
Moreover, was he previously aware of the letter published by Caruana Galizia? If he was aware, why didn’t he publish the document? After all, how could he not know?
This development could easily be Chris Fearne’s Achilles heel. If he knew about the content of the missing document, did not publish it, but instead tried to hide it, that is not merely wrong. It shows intent to mislead and misguide Parliament.
If he really did not know about it, he comes out looking like Mizzi’s stooge.
We also now know that, in Montenegro, Vitals is trying to close a similar deal to the one it signed with Malta. Even there, in Montenegro, they want to buy the health system for 30 years. Once again, this may appear as a coincidence to some. Frankly I don’t believe it. I doubt you do, either.
The Malta Independent Friday 4 November 2016