The PN’s new values

The PN, for many a year used to proclaim to one and all that all those who were aware of the existence of corruption and did not stand up to be counted were as a result supporting corruption.

It is on record that the former Private Secretary to the Minister of Finance has pleaded guilty in Court when charged with corruption.

When called to the witness stand, giving evidence against those who corrupted him, Noel Borg Hedley, Private Secretary to Minister Tonio Fenech stated that the monies he collected were used to finance the Hon Minister’s electoral campaign in 2008.

The Hon Minister in comments made to the press stated that he was not aware of the source of the finances used in his electoral campaign.

Malta Today reported as follows on 6 February 2012:

Noel Borg Hedley, 67, of Gzira – who last year was handed a permanent interdiction and conditionally discharged for three years after admitting to bribery – took the witness stand against his alleged ‘tippers’ and confirmed with Magistrate Audrey Demicoli that he received cheques and cash from the Montebellos as “donations” for activities connected to Fenech’s political campaign, but was later also “tipped” for his interventions with governmental departments which handled property tax matters. The Montebellos are denying the charges.

The Hon Minister made this statement notwithstanding that (according to his Private Secretary’s testimony)  it was he (the Minister) who gave him instructions as to whom he was to contact in order to be in a position to pay his electoral bills.

Five years on there are still a number of unanswered questions.

First : as the Hon Minister stated that he was not aware of the identity of those who financed his campaign, how did he collect the necessary information in order to submit the return required by electoral legislation as to the identity of those who financed him and the quantum of finance used, which as per his declaration did not exceed €1,400?

Second : on the basis of the conviction of his former Private Secretary as well as his testimony why did the Hon Tonio Fenech not shoulder his political responsibilities and resign?

Third:  once he did not resign does it not follow that the Hon Tonio Fenech considered that the way he  acted was honourable, so much that he deserved (in his view) to be elected Deputy Leader of the PN?

Fourth:  does it not seem that the PN is proud of Hon Tonio Fenech and the fact that he financed his electoral campaign with tainted money?  In fact the PN is once more presenting him as a candidate on 9 March general elections as one of the symbols of its new values!

 originally published in on January 4, 2013

amended at 13.46 , January 4, 2013 (added part in red)

Il-korruzzjoni: meta din tiffinanzja l-kampanja elettorali tal-Ministru


Il-liġi elettorali tistabilixxi li kandidat għall-elezzjoni ġenerali m’għandux jonfoq iktar minn €1,400 (l-ekwivalenti ta’ Lm600). Dan l-ammont jinkludi dak li jonfqu f’isem il-kandidat il-“ħbieb tiegħu”.

Kemm-il kandidat ser jinjora dan il-limitu fl-elezzjoni tad-9 ta’ Marzu 2013 u qiesu ma ġara xejn?

Il-problema mhiex biss l-ammont minfuq, iżda iktar u iktar minn fejn jiġu dawn il-flejjes. Malajr tifhmu għaliex għal sena wara l-oħra jkollna t’kaxkir tas-saqajn biex ikollna liġi suriet in-nies dwar il-finanzjament tal-politika.

Minn fejn jiġu dawn il-flejjes?

Tweġiba żgħira ħadniha meta Noel Borg Hedley, dak li kien Segretarju Privat ta’ Tonio Fenech, Ministru tal-Finanzi, ammetta fil-Qorti, li kkorrompa ruħu billi aċċetta l-flus biex jinfluwenza proċess amministrattiv. Il-flus tal-korruzzjoni li irċieva mingħand żviluppaturi (l-ahwa Jeffrey u Peter Montebello) għamel użu minnhom fil-kampanja elettorali tal-Ministru Tonio Fenech.

Għal Lawrence Gonzi jidher li qiesu ma ġara xejn meta fil-Qorti saret dikjarazzjoni ċara li l-korruzzjoni iffinanzjat il-kampanja elettorali ta’ wieħed mill-Ministri tiegħu.

Qed ngħid wieħed: għax b’dak nafu.

Weeding out corruption


One of the Bills currently pending before Parliament is the Private Member’s Motion presented by Franco Debono.  Motion 288 was presented on January 21, 2012. Entitled “An Act to regulate the formation, the inner structures, functioning and financing, of political parties and their participation in elections”. This Bill will be discarded once Parliament is dissolved.

Parliament did not discuss the Bill, although the Parliamentary Select Committee headed by Franco Debono and including MPs Francis Zammit Dimech and Jose’ Herrera discussed the matter at length in two public sessions in which representatives of all political parties and civil society participated.

The 2013 general elections will proceed on the basis of the current “rules” of party financing: a free for all. The circus which will be organised at Pieta’ and Ħamrun up till next Sunday will place common people at the forefront with their small donations to the political parties of their choice. There is nothing wrong with that. But unfortunately those making genuine donations will camouflage others whose objective is not so genuine.

Fat cats will pay homage at Pieta’ and Ħamrun contributing to the party coffers. These will be in addition to those who have already done so quietly. These later ones do not advertise donations. It is only occasionally that inadvertently their activity comes to light.

Readers will remember the case of Noel Borg Hedley, former private secretary of the Finance Minister Tonio Fenech who admitted in court the criminal charges brought against him that he accepted bribes from  building developers. He accepted tips and donations which he used to finance the electoral campaign of his boss, Minister Tonio Fenech.

The Minister has denied knowledge of the source of the finances used in his election campaign. It is not known whether the police have investigated the Hon Minister as to whether, notwithstanding his denial, he actually knew anything about the matter. No one is above the law, we are told.

This is one case which the public knows about. After the Borg Hedley case Minister Tonio Fenech was retained by Lawrence Gonzi as part of the Cabinet indicating clearly Dr Gonzi’s standards.

The government led by Lawrence Gonzi  did not have the political will to  introduce a regulatory structure which determines and limits the permissible amounts which can be donated as well as determining the compulsory disclosure of the names of those who make donations to political parties and their candidates.

Alternattiva Demokratika considers that the public has a right to know the identity of those financing all the political parties and their candidates. In particular regulation of party financing should establish a limit on the maximum donation which may be received from any one donor.  AD’s electoral manifesto to be published in the coming weeks will once more place this matter on the general election agenda emphasising that donations received by political parties (including their candidates) in excess of €5,000 per annum should be disclosed as well as that it should be illegal to receive donations in excess of €40,000 per annum from one source.

All political parties, year in year out, piously declare themselves in favour of transparency. Yet when push comes to shove those who have the power to legislate have repeatedly failed to act.

Regulating the financing of political parties is an essential building block in the fight against corruption. The fact that no such legislation is in place is adequate proof that there is no political will to weed out corruption.

First published on December 14, 2012

L-imħallef għand tal-grocer

Lino Farrugia Sacco 3

Sewwa qal Simon li in-nies għandha tiftaħ ħalqha għand tal-grocer. Ara xi smajt:

” Sewwa qed jgħidu n-Nazzjonalisti li l-Imħallef għandu jirreżenja. Mhux veru, jew, anke tal-Kumitat Olimpiku Internazzjonali qed jgħidu li hemm bżonn jieħdu passi.”

“X’imħallef hu?”

“U dak Farrugia Sacco!”

“Tajba din. Għan-Nazzjonalisti kulħadd għand jirreżenja minbarra huma!”

“U xi trid tgħid biha din?”

“Mela ma smajtx inti l-istorja ta’ Noel Borg Hedley li kien segretarju privat tal-Ministru Tonio Fenech u ammetta li ħa l-flus mingħand il-kuntratturi biex jirranġalhom ħalli jinħafrulhom il-multi.”

“U x’għamel bihom il-flus?”

“Ammetta li nefaqhom ……….. fil-kampanja elettorali ta’ Tonio Fenech.”

“Kif jista’ jkun, Tonio Fenech qal li ma kien jaf b’xejn!”

“Inti taf x’qal Franco?”

“Eeeeeeeeeeee…………. x’qal?

“Li Tonio Fenech messu jbus saqajn Borg Hedley għax refa’ ħafna iktar milli messu u weħel b’kollox hu!”

“U dan Franco mela kollox jaf………………?”

“Mela ma tafx li lil Borg Hedley iddefendih avukat mill-uffiċċju ta’ Franco? Jiena naħseb li tinten sewwa l-biċċa. Avolja Tonio qed jgħid li ma jaf b’xejn. Jiena ngħid għalija ma nemminx li ma kien jaf b’xejn.”

“Mela mhux l-Imħallef biss għandu jirreżenja. Jidher li Tonio Fenech imissu ilu li dabbar rasu.”