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