Tourism Minister calls out PN MP on ‘conflict of interest’
Karmenu Vella, Joe Mizzi refuse to attend PN hearing
Labour MPs Karmenu Vella and Joe Mizzi will not be attending this evening’s meeting of the PN’s executive committee
17 July 2012, 12:00am
So far, only the Prime Minister's spokesman Gordon Pisani has confirmed he will be going. European Commissioner John Dalli told MaltaToday he could only attend on Thursday while Police Commissioner John Rizzo would not comment.
In a letter sent to executive president Marthese Portelli, Mizzi and Vella said that they had nothing new to add to what they have already publicly stated.
"The Nationalist Party is not a judicial institution and I will not be involved in its internal battling," the two said in separate letters.
Vella and Mizzi added that the Prime Minister "has already decided in favour of Cachia Caruana".
In an affidavit he presented last week, Vella claimed former permanent representative to the EU, Richard Cachia Caruana had asked to meet him back in 1997 over decisions taken by Air Malta when he was a board member.
In his affidavit, Vella says that after being appointed minister for tourism, Cachia Caruana had specifically asked to meet him to discuss the decisions concerning the setting-up of the Azzurra Air subsidiary and the acquisition of a fleet of RJ-70s.
"I had never met him before and the meeting was a short one because I felt I had no need to hear anything more from him," Vella says in his affidavit.
"Cachia Caruana told me that although he was a member of the board of Air Malta, he had not agreed with the decisions to acquire the RJ70s and set up Azzurr Air, and that this was some 'dream' of other board members.
"I instantly understood he wanted to disassociate himself from these decisions and shift the burden of the responsibility of these wrong decisions on his other colleagues, so that he could curry favour with me."
Vella also said that he had asked Cachia Caruana whether he had registered his disagreement with a vote or a minority report. "He said no. I therefore reminded him that every board member had the collective responsibility of the board's decisions. At that point I felt Cachia Caruana had tried to use me to attack his colleagues. I was not ready to play his game and I felt I had to stop the discussion there."
On the other hand Mizzi implicated Cachia Caruana "in a clear case of criminal interference with the course of justice in relation to a cocaine party organised by individuals who were close to Cachia Caruana."
The MP also listed another instance where Cachia Caruana allegedly colluded with the then Labour government to supply him "with security officials for protection due to an assassination attempt on Cachia Caruana a few years earlier which was unrelated to his official position but was simply a case of personal vendetta."
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