Simon jemmen fit-tmexxija tajba ?

 

Għamel tajjeb Simon Busuttil li jiddikjara u jxandar mal-erbat irijieħ li ma hu ser iħalli lil ħadd jirrikattah. Hekk għandu jkun. L-ebda politiku m’għandu jħalli lil min jirrikattah.  

Imma, jekk għadu ma ndunax, Simon Busuttil għandu jkun jaf li hu ovvju għal kulħadd li qed jipprova jgħaddi żżmien bin-nies. Bdawk li għandhom fiduċja għamja fih jista jgħaddi żżmien kemm irid, sakemm iħalluh, imma hu ftit diffiċli biex jgħaddi żżmien bil-bqija. Forsi jkun aħjar għal Simon Busuttil li joqgħod attent li jmexxi sewwa, kemm hu, kif ukoll dawk ta madwaru. Fil-kaz tad-donazzjonijiet ta Silvio Debono tas-Seabank  lill-Partit Nazzjonalista jidher ċar li hemm it-taħwid. Idur kemm idur mal-lewża Simon Busuttil mhuwiex qed jirnexxielu jgħatti dan it-taħwid. Iktar ma jipprova, iktar hemm min qiegħed jiftaħ għajnejh.

Il-problema reali li għandu Simon Busuttil u li jeħtieġ illi jiffaċċja mhux xi rikatt, imma l-għatx kbir għad-donazzjonijiet li kellu l-Partit Nazzjonalista u Ii naħseb illi għad għandu, sakemm isib tarf tad-djun kbar li għandu l-PN. Dan hu għatx li pprova jissodisfa bdonazzjonijiet illegali, meta, skond Silvio Debono mexxejja tal-PN qalulu biex l-għotja tiegħu tkun fil-forma ta ħlas għal servizzi li la qatt ma ngħata u probabbilment li l-anqas ma kellu bżonn. Din hi l-verżjoni ta Silvio Debono li fil-fehma tiegħi titwemmen iktar minn dak li qal Simon Busuttil.

Xkienu dawn is-servizzi?

Hija din il-mistoqsija li għandu jwieġeb Simon Busuttil iktar milli joqgħod għaddej bit-tejatrin u jilgħab tal-vittma biex jipprova jgħatti xturu u xtur il-PN. Bil-mod kif aġixxa u tkellem matul din il-ġimgħa, Simon Busttil tefa dubji kbar dwar  kemm jemmen fgovernanza tajba. Għax jekk it-tmexxija tajba diga qed jagħtiha l-ġemb, issa, fit-tmexxija tal-Partit, aħseb u ara kif jimxi iktar il-quddiem.

Kif jista jitwemmen, meta dwar dan l-iskandlu tad-donazzjonijiet ta Silvio Debono lill-PN Simon Busuttil mhux kapaċi jagħti spjegazzjoni li tagħmel sens?

It-tidwir mal-lewża qatt ma wassal imkien.

Fake invoices and tainted donations

 

 

Around three weeks ago Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party in Malta – requested the Electoral Commission to initiate an investigation into the illicit use of public property by the Labour Party. The case revolved around the use of the Prime Minister’s official residence at Girgenti  as a meeting place for the Labour Party’s Parliamentary Group. Various members of Cabinet tweeted photos of this Parliamentary Group meeting.

It is not so far known whether the Electoral Commission will be taking any action on the Girgenti matter other than that it was on the agenda for a Commission meeting.

Now another, more serious issue, has cropped up out of the blue. This is due to the very serious claim made by Silvio Debono that he gave a political donation to the Nationalist Party in the amount of about €70,800 which was camouflaged as a payment for services rendered through the production and use of a fake invoice for the purpose. This payment is alleged to have been made in a concealed or disguised manner being intended for the political party but by way of deception it was channelled through the party’s commercial arm.

The Nationalist Party, on the other hand, counter-claimed that a payment for €70,800 was made but that this was as payment for services “actually” rendered by its commercial arm, Media Link Communications, to two of the companies forming part of DB group, Silvio Debono’s group of companies. However,  at one point the Nationalist Party also declared that it will reimburse the “tainted money” because it will not be compromised.  The Nationalist Party has to chose between its contradictory reactions: is the €70,800 received from Silvio Debono tainted or is it a payment for services?

Silvio Debono claims that he has the fake invoices and the receipts for the amount paid through which he can substantiate his claims. He further stated that no services were rendered to his companies by Media Link Communications.

This allegation strikes a direct hit at transparency and accountability, the very foundation of the legislation regulating political party financing. The claim by Silvio Debono effectively means that donations of substantial sums of money to political parties can possibly continue unchecked, as long as they are properly disguised and provided that those with a finger in the pie keep their mouth shut. If this allegation is proven, it would signify that the regulatory checks and balances serve no purpose, because the commercial arms of the major political parties will be the proven perfect vehicle to circumvent all due process.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Electoral Commission has the authority to investigate such an allegation, it would normally be very difficult to prove. No political party will ever confirm that it makes use of its commercial arm to circumvent rules and regulations. In fact, earlier this week the Nationalist Party Treasurer stated on PBS that as the person responsible for the party’s finances, he is not aware of the matter. In fact he said that he has never even met Silvio Debono.

Such an allegation can only be proven when the co-conspirator speaks up, as is happening in this particular case, even though, at the time of writing the alleged fake invoices have not been made available for public scrutiny. In actual fact, Silvio Debono is stating that he is aware that he flouted the law as he (or his companies, with his approval) knowingly accepted to settle fake invoices. In so doing, Debono is claiming that he knowingly carried out an exercise through which he gave the Nationalist Party an illegal donation.

The Labour Party has asked the Electoral Commission to investigate this specific allegation and take the necessary action.

I would go further than that. Is it not about time that political parties are forced to dismantle their commercial activities, which should be the state funding of political parties, subject to strict controls. At the end of the day, this may be the only way forward.

The fact that information on the fake invoices and illegal donations was volunteered by Silvio Debono himself in obvious retaliation to his being the target of PN criticism about his being in receipt of a prime site on the cheap adds to the seriousness of the case. Clearly, while Silvio Debono “invested in the PN”, he has not received the expected dividends. At the end of the day, the pressing question requiring a very urgent answer is to identify the number of additional similar investments by Debono himself, as well as by others. As long as such investments yield suitable dividends, we may possibly  never know the answer.

Published in the Malta Independent on Sunday: 12 March 2017

 

Marlene bħal stenbħet …………… u Salvu Mallia?

 marlene-farrugia-simon-busuttil      salvu-mallia

Marlene Farrugia bħal stenbħet u ndunat li l-PN kien qed jgħaddiha biżżmien. Inqeda biha fid-dimostrazzjonijiet kontra l-korruzzjoni u favur il-governanza tajba. Waqt li Simon Busuttil kien qiegħed jippontifika dwar il-governanza tajba, il-partit tiegħu kien fl-istess ħin qiegħed jitliegħeb quddiem Silvio Debono biex dan jimpalalu l-euros biex jitħallsu l-pagi tal-partit. Marlene għaġġlet u żbaljat.

Il-maskra tal-ipokrezija politika tal-Partit Nazzjonalista, issa inkixfet u Marlene tħossha li ġiet ittraduta. L-ewwel ittradiha Joseph u issa reġgħet ingidmet minn Simon. Donna ma titgħallem qatt!

Xgħandu xi jgħid Salvu Mallia li illum hu parti mill-PN għax bela il-kliem kollu li qal kontra żżewġ partiti l-kbar meta fdaqqa waħda ħass li l-PN kien ippurifikat. Salvu Mallia fetaħ il-kanuni fuq Mario de Marco. Issa xser jgħidilna fuq l-ipokrezija politika ta Simon Busuttil. Għax issa qiesu immuta.

Forsi issa jkun hemm iktar min jifhem kemm kellha raġun Alternattiva Demokratika li ma ħaditx sehem fid-dimostrazzjonijiet li organizza l-PN. Iżżmien tana raġun, sfortunatament, li l-PN ma tistax tafdah kif għamlu Salvu Mallia u Marlene Farrugia.

Il-Partit Nazzjonalista għall-bejgħ? Tridtx tmur! U l-Labour?

 euros-loads-of-money

Qalulna li l-PN mhux għall-bejgħ.

Imma fl-istess waqt li fil-pubbliku l-PN kien għaddej gas-down bi kritika qawwija kontra l-proġett ta Silvio Debono fuq is-sit presentement użata mill-Istitut għall-Istudji Turistiċi kienu qed jimpalaw ammonti sostanzjali ta euros mingħand Silvio Debono nnifsu.

Silvio Debono, bMario de Marco konsulent legali u Francis Zammit Dimech għal xi żmien direttur ta waħda mill-kumpaniji tiegħu xejn ma iddejjaq jagħti dawn id-donazzjonijiet, sal-bieraħ ……. meta talab flus lura.

U Simon Busuttil stagħġeb! Għax issa ċċartet il-maskra tal-ipokrezija.

Mhux ovvja li l-PN mhux għall-bejgħ? Jidher li ilu żmien li inbiegħ.

Imma dan kollu jfisser ukoll li jekk Silvio Debono kien lest li jagħti dawn id-donazzjonijiet kollha lill-PN waqt li dawn kienu għaddejjin jikkritikawh bil-qawwa kollha, min jaf kemm impala euros lill-Partit Laburista li fil-Gvern ftiehem miegħu.

2,000 qalu li ħadu. Min jaf kemm il-zero oħra hemm wara dik iċċifra!

Ovvja li t-tnejn li huma mhux għall-bejgħ. Ilhom żmien twil mibjugħa bl-irċevuta bkollox!

Kemm jaħsbuna bċieċen!

 

Serqa fid-dawl tax-xemx: min jidher u min ma jidhirx

Two Towers on ITS site

 

It-tender dwar żvilupp turistiku fuq l-art tal-ITS (Institute of Tourism Studies) ilu li għalaq. Ilna nisimgħu li hemm ħadma kbira.

Is-Sunday Times tal-lum f’artiklu ta’ Caroline Muscat tagħtina l-istorja bażika.

L-offerti intefgħu minn Silvio Debono tas-Seabank Group : offra €6.5 miljuni għal art tal-qies ta’ madwar 25,000 metru kwadru (iva: ħamsa u għoxrin elf metru kwadru, qed taqra tajjeb).

Din l-art li l-pjan lokali [North Harbours Local Plan] jiddeskrivi bħala Entertainment Priority Area tiswa’ ferm iktar minn hekk. Ċertament mhux inqas minn €100 miljun. Probabilment viċin il-€120 miljun.

S’issa l-art għadha ma ġietx trasferita imma wieħed mill-ágenti tal-propjetà diġa qiegħed jaċċetta deposits għal appartamenti lussużi li huma ippjanati għaż-żona, inkuż fis-żewġ torrijiet li hemm ippjanati.

Biex Silvio Debono, permezz tal-kumpaniji tiegħu, tefa’ offerta daqshekk baxxa għal art li għandha potenzjal enormi, bil-fors li għandu rasu mistrieħa li mhux ser ikollu diffikultajiet li jinfetħulu l-bibien għal biċċa “business” tajba.

Bil-fors li jitqanqlu suspetti kbar. Dwar min qed jidher u min possibilment ma jidhirx f’din is-serqa. Għax dan mhux “business” imma serq fid-dawl tax-xemx.

Huwa l-kaz ta’ investigazzjoni mhux biss mill-Awditur Ġenerali imma ukoll mill-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija. Illum qabel għada.