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€0.90 WEDNESDAY EDITION WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT Editorial - PAGE 11 WEDNESDAY • 18 december 2013 • issue 345 • published every wednesday and sunday PN distances itself from Gatt Simon Busuttil says former minister should answer for €2,000 donation from oil trader George Farrugia • 'Hurried' police investigation did not reveal full list of gifts and donations from Farrugia – senior police source investigation. "There are new facts which were not solicited from Farrugia during the investigation, because – looking back at the way the investigation was carried out – the presidential pardon served to hasten the prosecution of the other people involved in the bribery," the same police source told MaltaToday. Farrugia's conditional pardon was for the trader to "say the whole truth and nothing but the truth" in helping the police in investigations and in the courts of law or any inquiry carried out in the case. But as the PAC inquiry has confirmed, Farrugia was not obliged to volunteer the truth as long as he answered questions put to him by police investigators. "The police did not continue asking Farrugia questions after the first individuals were arraigned, and neither did they look into George Farrugia's accounts including those in Switzerland. The investigation was definitely fuelled by political convenience, because the search for overseas bank accounts of all those arraigned was incomplete and in many cases, requests were not even made." A complete list of gifts that Farrugia gave to Enemalta officials, or other political donations, was never furnished to the police. It is not yet known whether former minister Austin Gatt had told former Commissioner of Police John Rizzo that Farrugia had donated €2,000 to his political campaign. Gatt was present for the Cabinet meeting on Friday, 8 February, that discussed granting the pardon to George Farrugia to turn state's evidence, but denied that this was a conflict of interest for him, having been himself questioned by the police on allegations of bribery. "Commissioner John Rizzo and Attorney General Peter Grech were present for the meeting. If they were embarrassed by my presence they would have told the prime minister not to have me present," Gatt had told the press. Gatt had denied having discussed any fuel procurement matters with Farrugia. "I have nothing on my conscience regarding this case, and I am serene that it's the truth that will triumph in the end." While Monday's PAC meeting saw Labour demanding that PN leader Simon Busuttil takes responsibility over the alleged proximity between Gatt and Farrugia following news of the €2,000 donation, the Nationalist Party on the other hand accused Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia of failing to report the allegations of kickbacks to the police (see page 2). Mallia was employed as a lawyer for the Farrugia family firm John's Group to reach a settlement with George Farrugia when it was revealed he had been siphoning monies from oil commissions paid to subsidiary Powerplan, to his private company Aikon Ltd. The PN accused Mallia of having been privy to the allegations of kickbacks but that he did not report them to the police, instead using this information to benefit Labour's electoral interests in 2013. Newspaper post THE Nationalist Party has distanced itself from former investments and transport minister Austin Gatt – at one time responsible for Enemalta before 2010 – after oil trader George Farrugia declared on Monday he had donated €2,000 to the former minister. "The donations were made to Austin Gatt, so it is Austin Gatt who should answer your questions," a spokesperson for Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said, when asked to comment on Farrugia's declaration. The donation was made on behalf of family business John's Group, for Gatt's re-election campaign in 2008. Austin Gatt did not answer his phone when contacted repeatedly by MaltaToday. This is the first time that the PN has distanced itself from Gatt since the fuel procurement scandal was broken by MaltaToday back in January 2013. Gatt had himself volunteered to be questioned by police investigators. Farrugia, who turned State's evidence after being granted a presidential pardon, told the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Monday that it was his brother Ray Farrugia who asked him to deliver the donation. "My brother dealt with the politicians," Farrugia said. Investigations into the network of bribes permeating Enemalta's management and fuel procurement, did not reveal any of the details of donations by oil trader George Farrugia to Austin Gatt, police sources have told MaltaToday. "The investigations were hurried and fuelled by political convenience," a senior police investigator told MaltaToday, referring to the arraignment of former Enemalta chairperson Tancred Tabone, former MOBC chief Frank Sammut, former Enemalta officials Alfred Mallia, Ray Ferris and Tarcisio Mifsud, and businessmen Francis Portelli and Anthony Cassar. George Farrugia was granted a presidential pardon on recommendation of Lawrence Gonzi, to turn state's evidence. But revelations that Gonzi and Farrugia's wife worked together at the Mizzi Organisation, and that Austin Gatt accepted donations from Farrugia, did not feature in the criminal

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