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MW 17 June 2015

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WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT WEDNESDAY EDITION WEDNESDAY • 17 JUNE 2015 • ISSUE 420 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY €1.00 EDITORIAL PAGE 10 FREE INSIDE The Architect Newspaper post FREE INSIDE Labour fails to answer questions on whether it received donations from Gaffarenas, PN says it will provide answer after checking records Parties asked to declare donations from Gaffarena JURGEN BALZAN THE two major political parties have so far failed to reply to ques- tions on whether they received do- nations from property owner Marco Gaffarena, or members of his fam- ily before and after the 2013 general election. Gaffarena – at the centre of a storm over a €1.65 million expropriation deal he benefitted from – has re- portedly financially supported both political parties over the past years. The Gaffarenas are thought to have backed candidates from both the PN and Labour camps, especial- ly in the sixth and seventh electoral districts. MaltaToday asked both parties whether they received any monies from the Gaffarenas and how much these donations amounted to. While no reply was forthcoming from Labour president Daniel Mi- callef by the time of writing, a PN spokesperson told MaltaToday that they would "check [their] records for this information and revert accord- ingly". However, the Opposition spokes- person said: "the Nationalist Party has amply demonstrated that it is not in anyone's pockets. Evidence of this is the fact that during a PN administration the petrol station owned by Mr Gaffarena's family in Qormi remained closed because of illegal works and this was opened only after Labour was returned to office in 2013." He added that under the previous PN government, MEPA had issued an enforcement notice over an il- legal restaurant Gaffarena owns in Qormi. Controversy engulfed Gaffarena when it was revealed that in Janu- ary and April 2015 he was paid €822,500 in cash and then granted seven parcels of government land, worth another €822,500, for the ex- propriation of his 50% ownership in a Valletta building that houses the government offices of the Building Industry Consultative Council. The deal has raised suspicion on two counts: Gaffarena was com- pensated in January 2015 for a 25% share in the property, and then again in April after he managed to buy an- other 25% in February; and because the lands he was given abutted on property he already owned or which he intends to develop. CONTINUES ON PAGE 7 CONTINUES ON PAGE 3 Gay 'conversion therapy' could become a criminal offence Man arrested over Fort St Elmo shooting THE Police have arrested a 35-year-old man from Valletta in connection with yesterday's shooting near Fort St Elmo in Valletta. A 40-year-old man was taken to Mater Dei Hospital suffering from slight injuries after he was shot in his left leg. The incident took place at about 10:45am on the St Elmo granaries outside the fort. The police said that the man from Valletta was shot at following an argument. The gunman ran away from the scene but was later arrested by the police. Helena Dalli says LGBT+ consultative council has been asked to draft proposals on the criminalisation of "conversion therapy" CIVIL Liberties Minister Helena Dalli said yesterday that the gov- ernment's consultative council on LGBT+ rights has been requested to draft proposals in lieu of a future Bill that would criminalise 'conver- sion therapy' of LGBT+ people. "Such therapies harm people and breach their human rights," Dalli said. Tom Brown, a US Evangelist and founder of the Word of Life church in Texas, visited Malta last week- end as a special guest at Evangelist church River of Love. In an in- terview with the Times of Malta, Brown advocated his stance in fa- vour of "conversion therapy", argu- ing that homosexuality is a sin. "People should be allowed to live as they were born and many West- ern countries are starting to realise how damaging conversion thera- pies can be," Dalli added. Dalli praised this year's passing of a Gender Identity Law that other countries have started to eye up as a model for their own laws. "We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Belgium who will now base their gender identity law off ours," she said. "Malta is often a follower, but we are a leader in this sector that will really benefit humanity. Our law gives people the dignity to be legally recognised as the gender you iden- tify with without being forced to go through medical interventions." Marco Gaffarena

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