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MT 8 APR 2018

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YANNICK PACE NO Pilatus Bank officials were present dur- ing the police's interrogation of Russian whistle-blower Maria Efimova in 2016, the former police investigator Jonathan Ferris has said. An interview with Efimova, published by the Greek newspaper Kathimerini last week stated that the former Pilatus Bank employee had filed a police report follow- ing her interrogation, in which she claimed she was mistreated by one of the officers who pushed her and took her mobile phone "while two Pilatus Bank executives attended the interrogation". Newspaper post maltatoday today today SUNDAY • 8 APRIL 2018 • ISSUE 961 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY YOUR FIRST READ AND CLICK OF THE DAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT ON THE GREEN FRONTLINE First glance of the MAPFRE exhibition of 140 works of the Spanish giants of 20th century art PAGES 16-17 €1.95 "while two Pilatus Bank PAGE 3 With your copy of MaltaToday Picasso & Miró FREE Direct FIMBank Direct is a secure digital banking platform with a variety of services catering for both personal and corporate banking customers. This platform is an integrated solution which is secure, versatile and easily accessible. Discover more by visiting FIMBank p.l.c. is a licensed credit institution regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority and is listed on the Malta Stock Exchange. 2132 2102 Secure High Level Protection Technology Versatile Manage your Accounts & Effect Payments with Ease Accessible Access your account with no need for an Internet Key Multi-currency Multiple Options in Major Currencies Old Mint Street revocation is political stunt, Gaffarena says MATTHEW AGIUS HE obtained a handsome €1.65 million land and cash deal through what many believe was a direct political interest by a sitting govern- ment member. But now businessman Mark Gaffarena is ap- pealing the revocation of the controversial Old Mint Street expropriation deal from which he profited, arguing that it was an exercise in po- litical point-scoring. In March, the courts revoked all trans- fers made in terms of two expropriation contracts and ordered the return of all assets to government, after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat filed a court case against Gaf- farena and his wife Josielle to recoup the lands transferred in the expropriation of a palazzo in Old Mint Street, Valletta. The government had paid €1.65 million in 2015 for the expropriation of his part-owner- ship of the palazzo that Gaffarena had bought for a fraction of the price just weeks earlier, in a deal denounced as corrupt by the Opposi- tion and which led to the resignation of parlia- mentary secretary Michael Falzon. Two investigations were carried out by the Auditor General and the Internal Audit Inves- tigations Department, where the expropria- tion contracts were found to be null as they referred to two undivided quarter-shares of the entire property and not the part belonging to Gaffarena. The Lands Authority later ar- gued in court that much more land had been transferred by way of compensation than what should have. The courts rescinded the expropriation late last month, ruling that the Commissioner for Lands should have compensated each of the owners pro-rata and that the government had "effectively acquired part of the property belonging to all its owners and only paid one owner for it." The Gaffarenas filed an appeal ear- lier this week arguing that the decision should be overturned and that "this is all an exercise founded on a political basis." Ferris denies Pilatus presence during Efimova's interrogation Flimkien ghal- Ambjent Ahjar's TARA CASSAR interviewed PAGES 14-15 FREE ISSN 2306-0735 THINK I D E A S • M A L T A • R E S E A R C H • P E O P L E • U N I V E R S I T Y APRIL 2018 • ISSUE 23 APRIL 2018 • ISSUE 23 Minister told to reduce footprint of mega fuel stations MATTHEW VELLA THE minister for the environment is being asked to consider changing the specifica- tions of new fuel stations being relocated outside development zones. The issue was placed on the national agenda last week when a Planning Author- ity board meeting had to be suspended as demonstrators from Moviment Graffitti and Kamp Emergenza Ambjent staged a protest. The board was voting on whether to approve the relocation of an urban fuel service station, to an ODZ location in Luqa. The rules approved in 2015 have caused consternation among residents and envi- ronmentalists who have witnessed a roar- ing trade in the sale of urban fuel pump licences, to be developed into mega fuel service stations on countryside motorways. But a review of the rules requested by minister Jose Herrera is now recommend- ing that the 3,000sq.m footprint of the ODZ fuel service stations is reduced, and even prohibit the development of brand new pet- rol stations opposite industrial areas. The review was drawn up by the Environment and Resources Authority. Planning disruption: Graffitti activists upstage a board meeting The review was drawn up PAGE 3 Court appeal attacks decision by Prime Minister to take legal action on decision mandated under his ministerial purview PAGE 4 Marco Gaffarena

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