PL ap­peals to Busut­til to ‘stop ly­ing’ about Egrant, pub­lish db Group in­voices

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Deputy Labour Party leader Chris Car­dona and Jus­tice Min­is­ter Owen Bon­nici ap­pealed to the Na­tion­al­ist Party to stop “ly­ing” and ap­pealed to PN Leader Si­mon Busut­til to speak about a story that is not fab­ri­cated, which is about the in­voices that were fab­ri­cated.

The PL are re­fer­ring to al­le­ga­tions that the PN had is­sued false in­voices on ser­vices that were never ren­dered between its com­mu­ni­ca­tions arm Me­di­aLink and a sub­sidiary of Sil­vio De­bono’s db Group, a com­pany pro­vid­ing food for air­lines.

Mr De­bono won a bid, to which his com­pany was the only one to ap­ply, on the de­vel­op­ment of former ITS site in St George's Bay, St Ju­lian’s. Those ob­ject­ing the deal took um­brage with the low price tag of €60 mil­lion db Group will be pay­ing to de­velop the land into a luxury ho­tel, res­i­den­tial units, of­fice space and re­tail out­lets. It has been ar­gued that the land is worth at least €200 mil­lion.

In the press con­fer­ence, Dr Car­dona said that af­ter sev­eral months of the Op­po­si­tion al­leg­ing and in­sin­u­at­ing who the owner of Egrant is, it is now ap­peal­ing for all those with in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward. The story of Egrant is “fab­ri­cated and based on lies.”

This refers to the Panama Pa­pers rev­e­la­tions, which ex­posed that the Prime Min­is­ter’s chief of staff Keith Schem­bri and Min­is­ter Kon­rad Mizzi had in­cor­po­rated two se­cret com­pa­nies in Panama through the ser­vices of a cor­po­rate ser­vice pro­vi­sion com­pany called Nexia BT.

Along with the two com­pa­nies be­long­ing to the govern­ment of­fi­cials, a third com­pany was also in­cor­po­rated by Nexia BT, called Egrant Inc. Since the scan­dal broke there have been many in­sin­u­a­tions that the third com­pany be­longs to Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat or some­body as­so­ci­ated with him. He has cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nied this while Brian Tonna, man­ag­ing part­ner of Nexia BT, said that he ac­quired Egrant as a shelf com­pany.

Jour­nal­ist and The Malta In­de­pen­dent colum­nist Daphne Caru­ana Gal­izia has al­leged she knows who Egrant be­longed to, and that “large sums of money” have been trans­ferred. Dr Mus­cat this week twice de­nied that Egrant be­longed to him or any mem­ber of his fam­ily.

Both PL of­fi­cials said that the story which is not fab­ri­cated refers to the db Group false in­voices. Dr Busut­til has de­clined to pub­lish the in­voices, stat­ing that it is a pri­vate doc­u­ment between two com­mer­cial en­ti­ties.

Dr Bon­nici said that fal­sity of Dr Busut­til’s claims about Egrant will be made known in the course of the li­bel pro­ceed­ings in­sti­tuted by Mr Schem­bri against Mrs Caru­ana Gal­izia.

Owen Bon­nici and Chris Car­dona

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