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MT 17 April 2016

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SAVIOUR BALZAN ONE of the businessmen caught in the eye of the storm unleashed by the Panama Papers, had his company Redmap Constructions car- ry out €34,000 in works on properties owned by Nationalist Party deputy lead- er Mario de Marco back in 2011, as well as for some Allied Newspapers officials. But the former junior minister never paid for the works. Until last month – when Redmap was thrust into the news after its owner, Pierre Sladden, was re- vealed to have used offshore firms in the British Virgin Islands for a €900,000 transaction. Sladden's Redmap had been subcontracted by construction company Blokrete to carry out works on the new Pro- gress Press premises in Mriehel, acquired in 2009 by the Allied group, publishers of The Times and The Sunday Times. De Marco is a mem- ber of the Strickland Foundation, which owns 78% of Allied Newspapers. But MaltaToday is informed that De Marco asked Sladden for an invoice on the works Redmap carried out, af- ter the Allied group in March launched an inquiry into alleged bribes paid to its former managing di- rector, Adrian Hillman. The invoice was issued last month for works started in 2011, and payments were effected in three separate instalments over March and April. De Marco has told MaltaToday that Red- map was engaged for minor works on his Naxxar property which are still ongoing. "Works have been carried out interrupt- edly and sporadically over a period of time with some work carried out also last year as I am in no rush for completion. Works are still not complete. My wife and I have regularly asked for an invoice in respect of works carried out but the contractor insisted that the invoice be made once the works are complete." The invoice was request- ed as news broke of off- shore companies in the British Virgin Islands held by Adrian Hill- man, and the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Keith Schembri – weeks before the In- ternational Consorti- um for International Journalists broke the Panama Papers story. Newspaper post SUNDAY • 17 APRIL 2016 • ISSUE 858 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday 'My three children are autistic...' As their kids come of age, two mums reveal their fears for their future Pirate booty, bling and slaves Making it big on corsairing in 17th century Malta YOUR FIRST READ AND FIRST CLICK OF THE DAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT €1.40 After Hillman resigned, De Marco paid Sladden bill for 2011 houseworks MEPs pass law that would prevent Panama Papers SUNDAY • 17 APRIL 2016 • ISSUE 858 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY 10 11 corsairing in 17th 16 17 The best in comment PGS 19-25 Michael Falzon, Raphael Vassallo, Frank Psaila, and Evarist Bartolo Planning amnesty in the offing THE Planning Authority's Chief Executive Officer, Johann Butti- gieg has confirmed that a legal notice aimed at regularising plan- ning infringements in urban ar- eas will be issued for public con- sultation (Interview, pgs 14-15). The "regularization" will be lim- ited to illegal developments inside development zones and not out- side development zones (ODZ). The regularization will also ap- ply to developments carried out before a certain date yet to be identified. Buttigieg said developments that have a negative impact on the environment or neighbouring residents will not be regularised. He also confirmed that the PA will again tweak the development zones, by adding new ODZ areas while taking away an equivalent area of already protected areas from the development zone. Buttigieg was non-committal on whether this process will be completed by the next general election. Buttigieg also gave details on the new "summary procedure" that allows permits for up to 16 apartments to be issued without a public hearing, and a consulta- tion period of two weeks instead of three. Case officers will present a "summary report" to the chair- person of the PA's Environment Planning Commission, a post presently occupied by Elizabeth Ellul, who will be taking the final decision on each permit. MATTHEW VELLA WHAT do the Panama Papers, Dieselgate, LuxLeaks and Swiss- leaks have in common? – they were historic journalistic en- deavours which uncovered se- cret corporate activities the pub- lic had a right to know about. But while Malta is gripped in the fever of the fallout from the Panama Papers – with minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Keith Schembri, facing unrelenting calls from the Opposition, civil society and the independent press for their resignation – Maltese MEPs from both sides of the political divide have voted for a law that could incriminate whistleblowers and investigative journalists who breach corpo- rate secrecy. Both Labour and Nationalist MEPs voted with the two major socialist and centre-right blocs to pass the directive which will oblige member states to ensure companies that fall victim to "misuse of trade secrets" can de- fend their rights in court, seek compensation, and protect any confidential information during judicial pro- ceedings. PAGE 6 Malta MEPs toe party line and vote to protect corporate secrets against 'leaks' PAGE 3 MP pays €34,000 bill to firm caught up in BVI offshore storm after Allied launched inquiry into newspaper's managing director De Marco says he regularly asked for an invoice, but insisted in March for a settlement of bills

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