Shoot the messenger, not the message

The invoice which proved that Frank Sammut, a consultant to Enemalta, was being paid for the sale of a particular sale of fuel to Enemalta, was lifted not from George Farrugia’s computer but from a computer used by Frank Sammut.

I have very serious problems listening to Beppe Fenech Adami, and more so because he continues to insinuate that the documents that led to the MaltaToday oil scandal revelation originated from the Labour Party and Manuel Mallia.

Let us - for argument's sake - choose to believe that what Fenech Adami is saying is the truth and nothing but the truth.

Is the issue ultimately about the messenger, or the message?

In 17 years of Lou Bondì on state TV, Bondì - then a good friend of Beppe Fenech Adami and Austin Gatt - chose to dedicate countless programmes to his mission to neutralise stories by questioning the messenger rather than the message, and whenever possible, to allege collusion between MaltaToday and the Labour Party.

Bondì - the man who today earns a living from a political appointment dished out to him by the one and only Joseph Muscat - described MaltaToday as being the 'Malta Labour Party Today'.

I have no more time to waste to state where I stand.

The truth is that Beppe Fenech Adami is still defending Austin Gatt when his party leader Simon Busuttil has publicly distanced himself from the over-the-top former minister who has fallen from grace.

But let me be very specific about this allegation, which Fenech Adami repeats over and over again.

First of all, the representations of Manuel Mallia and David Farrugia Sacco were limited to the misappropriation of funds by George Farrugia and his brothers.

When Farrugia Sacco decided to institute a civil case against George Farrugia, the documents presented in court may have been interesting but they lacked the confirmation that a payment was effected to someone with an Enemalta connection.

The invoice which proved that Frank Sammut, a consultant to Enemalta, was being paid for the sale of a particular sale of fuel to Enemalta, was lifted not from George Farrugia's computer but from a computer used by Frank Sammut.

This is something I will always stand by.

Beppe Fenech Adami may not be that interested in reading on. But the truth is that the invoice published in MaltaToday was the only proof that corruption was happening.  It was not in anyone else's hands.

Before that it was only a case of George Farrugia - now known to be a Jesus freak - effectively screwing his brothers like all good Christians normally do after or before confession.

I will of course spare my resentment for the Christian hypocrisy of George Farrugia.

Beppe Fenech Adami belongs to that breed of politicians who believe that someone like me should be ashamed to walk down Valletta with my head held high.

Instead it should be Austin Gatt who should walk with his head held high as if the world belonged to him and the rest of us were a bunch of sub-humans with no grey matter.

From next year I will hobble into Valletta by a side street, avoid eye contact and don my dark sunglasses.

It is I, and only I, who should be ashamed of myself, not Austin or Tonio or Lawrence Gonzi.

I will now walk in shame for having revealed the oil scandal.

Beppe Fenech Adami loses no sleep praising former police commissioner John Rizzo for his sterling work. Well, he'd better hold his horses on this one.

Apart from the fact that I share the same enthusiasm that the Nationalists had for John Rizzo when he was a faithful police officer to disgraced and imprisoned police commissioner Lawrence Pullicino; what is really surprising is that John Rizzo, the man who is suddenly adulated by the whole Opposition, failed to properly investigate whether the suspects in this oil scandal had Swiss bank accounts or relevant foreign bank accounts which received deposits or transfers during the said period.
I could go on.

Needless to say, if you really want to laugh you should just skim through today's Malta Independent, home to apologists and bile producers: I am informed the paper carries an interview with Tony Debono.

No, before you even rush off to waste your money and buy the Independent  - you should really know that this Tony Debono was, in his heyday, the secretary of Censu Moran and at the time considered by the Nationalist party as a 'Laburist aħdar', the same kind of guy that would get a bollocking from guess who... a callous appellation, considering the fact that he was later to offer his expertise to Lawrence Gonzi and Simon Busuttil.

Times change and now he seems to have seen the light.

But the fact is that Tony Debono's involvement at this stage is rather irrelevant - for the simple reason that facts speak louder than words. The Malta Independent should really stop gate-keeping and serving as a poodle for the PN.

Today the real issue is not why a pardon was given to George Farrugia. We know now that Lawrence Gonzi lied when he said he did not know George Farrugia, and he did not say that he knew Farrugia's wife, who worked with him at Mizzi Organisation.

We know that Farrugia did not deserve a presidential pardon and that his portrayal of events is convoluted and full of inaccuracies.

The issue is that Farrugia's testimony, even if not completely true, confirms to what extent the political class and the managers at public ntities allowed themselves to mix with business interests.

What is needed now is a reappraisal of the way politicians and public officials acted.  The solutions are clear: they cannot meet up with people without noting down the nature of the meetings in a diary, they should not accept gifts and if they do they should not exceed a limit and should diarise everything. And more importantly, they should declare their conflicts of interest before accepting a post.

After last Monday's revelation, I would be interested in knowing whether the police commissioner called in William Spiteri Bailey, Alex Tranter and Austin Gatt for interrogation. I fear not. The only thing I know is that the proposal to have Alex

Tranter appointed to Rotary Malta as some kind of president was objected to by some members. Thank God for Rotary!

***

I have few kind words for Magistrate Carol Peralta.

In 1991 I was incarcerated together with Joe Azzopardi and Mark Borg for a day, for having refused to pay a Lm5 fine for having participated in a protest which blocked Richard Cachia Caruana from entering Ta' Cenc hotel with his car.

Some time before that, I had revealed Peralta's involvement in freemasonry at the Leinster lodge No 387 LC at Villa Blye in Paola. Unbelievably, the police had his name as a contact in case of burglary at the Villa Blye lodge. He never quite forgave me for that.

Peralta thinks that he is untouchable.

He is an uncouth man whom I always remember with a cigarette and a whisky glass in his hands in the Floriana bars. In that particular Floriana bar he frequented there was a whisky bottle with the words Peralta reserved for him on the liquor shelf.

Peralta has always been a boisterous quasi-comical figure. He is not the only one in the judiciary who does not lead by example. He is also unusually well off for a magistrate, owning properties in Malta and abroad.

If he is not impeached this time around, then the whole political class should really step back and let someone else bring Peralta down.

His press conference at his Mdina house reflected a particular and singular kind of arrogance.

I am told the Peralta incident led to an amazing cascade of telephone calls to the Office of the Prime Minister.

A very merry Christmas to all our readers who are not freemasons!

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sicilian is that how you work in Sicily? No wonder the MAFIA fingers are everywhere in Sicily. Guess they copied you in Malta especially with certain politicians to change the environmental law for their friends and friends of friends to be given the BWSC contract on a silver platter and their friends (and themselves???)get a €4,000,000 COMMISSION handout. I wonder whether the Commission was declared and how much of it was paid in income tax and who really declared it in his income. Can the Government please change the law to make it possible for the publication of the income tax return of all persons involved in such commissions?
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@ sicilian, Yeah, yeah.....
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kukkanja, agreed 100%.
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Tough luck Better Future, but you still cannot accept the obvious.The only legal demand Powerplan could make on George Farrugia was to render unto his siblings that which belonged to them. And in fact as SB said in his article, the Farrugia Sacco papers presented in court contained just that: a demand for the siblings share of the profits (ill-gotten referred to fact; whose name do you reckon it was intended to blacken? GF's?)and nothing else. Once more, fraud, non-declaration of income & money laundering are not within the remit of Powerplan (cf the FS court papers). Mention of these during the discussions for an-out-of-court settlement constituted blackmail.
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Tough luck Better Future, but you still cannot accept the obvious.The only legal demand Powerplan could make on George Farrugia was to render unto his siblings that which belonged to them. And in fact as SB said in his article, the Farrugia Sacco papers presented in court contained just that: a demand for the siblings share of the profits (ill-gotten referred to fact; whose name do you reckon it was intended to blacken? GF's?)and nothing else. Once more, fraud, non-declaration of income & money laundering are not within the remit of Powerplan (cf the FS court papers). Mention of these during the discussions for an-out-of-court settlement constituted blackmail.
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It was not just an 'iced bun' that PN appointed people gulped from any EneMalta 'imma fornata wara l-ohra ta miljuni ta Ewro li dam sejjer ghal 12 il-sena shah'! Hawn xi hadd li ghadu jemmen li tal-PN ma kienux jafu x'qed jigri? Jien nghid li kienu jafu ghax kieku in-Net TV kien jghid xi haga xi darba fuq dan l-iskandlu taz-zejt-imma xejn ma gab; zero.. biex zgur ikompli jghaddi iz-zmien bin- nies tieghu! Punt iehor li skandalizani hi kif Beppe Fenech Adami u Jason Azzopardi ma jisthux jaghmlu mistoqsijiet direttti mhux lil min ma ghamilx xoghlu sew jew bhal l-awditur li kixef l-ghawwar ta sitwazzjoni skandaluza; imma ghadiritura kwazi jiddefendu lil min zgur ma tistax tiddefendih! Jien jghidu li iridu imma ma nistax nifhem- u m'iniex ta subajgha f'halqi- kif l-finanzi tal-PN gew iddikjarati li ghosfru ezatt mat-telfa eletorali ta 10 ta Marzu. Ghallura xi ifisser dan kollu? Hawn xi cuc Malta li ma jaslax ghal konkluzzjoni li 'there are more in the stars(skandlu taz-zejt) than you or I might think of? Kieku ghala qed jiddefendu lil min m'ghandhomx jiddefendu?
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My dear sicilian, you started off with the motion of "ill gotten" gains. I am glad you have retracted that moton now. That was the raison d'etre of your initial comment i.e. to blacken someone's name! Again and for the last time, it is the creditor's duty to collect all monies due, AND it is not blackmail to advise the debtor of the consequences of not paying up, even of the grave consequences of not so doing. It is simply stating the facts of life or reciting the "abc..." FINALLY, so according to you the sin of fraud, misappropriation etc etc does not involve the suffering company? It is clear we come from different sides of the values factor. I represent creditors!!! I do not represent habitual defaulters that would stop at nothing to not pay up, even crying foul when none exists!!! CAPITO........
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Sorry to disappoint you again.You say that "as per your reasoning, when the Minister of Finance, or Ministry officials or CIR officials advise you to declare all income or else..then they are blackmailing you." I actually said just the opposite. The above mentioned offenses are the dorect responsibility of tax officials and police. So it is perfectly in order for them to threaten court action to remedy that. However, if their communication also said that they would expose me for two-timing my wife for instance (happily not their field of competence) that would introduce an element of blackmail. Now in the case of GF, statements by his brother and nephew made it clear that in their request for their share of the profits (ill-gotten or not does not come into it) they also mentioned GF's "fraud", "non-declaration of income" and "money laundering" -- conduct which falls in the purview of the police and not of PowerPlan or their lawyers. Hence that mentionconstituted "blackmail". Is that clear enough?
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Dear sicilian, many thanks for your appreciation of the dangers to my logic; and I have to concur with your analysis seeing the nonsensical arguments put forward. (1) The creditor cannot make a debtor "play ball". It is up to the Courts to act as a referee and provide a remedy. (2) GF's gains acquired your adjective "ill-gotten" only when he allegedly misappropriated company funds for himself, and away from the benefit of the company. (3) These funds were not "ill-gotten" as far as the company, any interested party, directors, shareholders and legal representatives were concerned. Unless they knew what was going on, and here I refer to any underhanded dealings with responsible purchasing Public officials, and allowed it to happen. As I intimated elsewhere these allegations/assertions are for the Police to prove. (4) So as per your reasoning, when the Minister of Finance, or Ministry officials or CIR officials advise you to declare all income or else......, then they are blackmailing you! (5) Opening your mind to the possibilities does not translate into blackmail!!! CAPITO ora???
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Dear Better Future, I am afraid you do not really have much hope of a better future if you do not improve your logic. You said it yourself: in case I do not play ball you will take me to court to make me play ball, i.e. to give you your "fair" share of my "ill-gotten" gains. That would indeed constitute a fair and legal "warning". But if you include "non-declaration of income", "fraud" and "money laundering" in your warning -- crimes which fall within police not PowerPlan company responsibility -- you are blackmailing me. Capisc?
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One question that keeps boggling my mind about this story is....whatever computer the invoice came out from, how did it end up in Malta Today's hands??? Could it be that someone who had the powers or tools to hack through emails in relation to national security has abused of his position for political motifs?????
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Dear sicilian, I didn't realise Sicilians spoke from their....! But then it could simply be a case of spectacular unorthodoxy on your part. Let me explain what blackmail is not. Say, for argument's sake, you owed me money which illicitly withdraw from our joint business account, and you don't want to admit this fact. Even after provided with ample proof, and/or you wanted to decrease the amount you pilfered drastically. What am I to do? I will warn you (not blackmail) you, that if you do not come to an amicable agreement, I will be left with no option but to take the matter to court, WHERE AUTOMATICALLY, your criminal activity will be noticed by the authorities and the appropriate action against you taken. THAT IS NOT BLACKMAIL! Capito???
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"When Farrugia Sacco decided to institute a civil case against George Farrugia, the documents presented in court may have been interesting but they lacked the confirmation that a payment was effected to someone with an Enemalta connection." While Saviour Balzan is understandably angry at the PN attempts to take from him the credit for blowing the oil purchase scandal wide open, it is silly of him to argue that the absence of the Sammut invoice from the DFSacco papers proves that. The absence is in any case a logical one given that GF was being sued for collaring all of "the Profits" and not for anything else. And the last thing that GF's rivals wanted the court to know was that the monies they were after were ill-gotten gains. And that is why the mention of "fraud", non-declaration of income" and "money laundering" by GF's siblings and/or their lawyers constituted an act of blackmail.
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Ma min rajtek xebbahtek. L-ISTORJA TA' MALTA TAGHNA MA BDIETX ILLUM SUR SAVIOUR
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First of all, the representations of Manuel Mallia and David Farrugia Sacco were limited to the misappropriation of funds by George Farrugia and his brothers. How could that be? Was not George being sued BY his brothers for misappropriation of funds? You must have meant "misappropriation of funds by GF from his brothers". That apart, this whole business has been messed up by the PN lawyers with their insistence on what Mallia knew or did not know about the Enemalta bribes. But what was finally made absolutely clear yesterday by the "speeches" of GF's brothers and nephew, was that Mallia did mention what was called fraud, non-declaration of income and money laundering to GF. Since these as you say were not in the brief given to Mallia, their mention was an act of blackmail on Mallia's part, when Mallia was NOT in politics. This is what the PN lawyers should be hammering on, not their silly insistence of "political responsibility". And this is why PM Muscat should show Mallia the door.
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a fine one to label others as apologists, when he has defended a discredited man like john dalli, kicked out by the eu commission - or was the eu commission a gonzi puppet too?
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Every reaction points to the true worth of your endeavours. The heavier the assault, the nearer you must be to the open nerve. In respect of the Judiciary - Maybe, it is the appropriate time to establish, maybe through an on-line survey, whether the general Maltese public is in agreement with a situation where certain members holding influential public office, such as of the judiciary, are allowed to also hold positions of membership within freemasonry organisations or positions within'corporate consultancy' groups? Is this, like the unquestioned acceptance of ‘verbal prokuri’ when it strangely suits the adjudicator, (in a 21stcentury technologically advanced era of methods of instant verification), just another Maltese tradition of the accepted abuse of assisting those of the inner circle?
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Salv, all the very best to you, your family and all at MaltaToday and their families!!! As always, KEEP IT COMIN'!!!
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NO DOUBT ABOUT IT ~ Beppe is Eddie's son, practically a CLONE in qualities ... good and not so good ;) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In fact it is always a SURPRISE to me, that BEPPE , who is always so quick on the gun to take anyone to court NEVER took Dr. Franco Debono to court when the latter called him a BLATENT LIAR on air in "Sibt il-Punt" program! Dr. Debono even stated that QUOTE ~ "Beppe gideb GIDEB FAHXI fuqi( Dr. Franco Debono), bhal ma missieru kien jigdeb GIDEB FAHXI fuq Dr. Alfred Sant! " No libel cases have been instituted to-date!

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