Nationalist MP Anthony Bezzina faces criminal action over 2012 Zurrieq club works

Nationalist MP was alleged to have used public works employees to give Zurrieq PN club a fresh coat of paint

Nationalist MP Anthony Bezzina
Nationalist MP Anthony Bezzina

A Nationalist MP is expected to face criminal proceedings over works carried out by public sector employees under his purview, on the Nationalist Party club of Zurrieq in 2012. 

Anthony Bezzina, a long-time employee of the government public works department, said he has never been questioned by the police in eight years since the allegations first surfaced. 

But a concluded inquiry into the allegations have green-lit police action, MaltaToday has been told.

The case was revealed in Labour Party organ Kullħadd, in a report that Bezzina had instructed government employees to carry out works on the PN każin during working hours. 

The newspaper said the PN club needed painting ahead of the Local Council elections of 2012 and Bezzina had asked the foreman of his department to find him some workers who would be prepared to do the necessary works after hours. The works were carried out using materials he had provided and took three afternoons to complete. The interior decorators had refused payment. 

In libel proceedings Bezzina instituted in 2015 and lost three years later, it was revealed that Bezzina summoned the three workmen to his office after the newspaper report, to sign a declaration that they had completed the works after their working hours. The workers’ foreman had asked them to sign a declaration stating that they had not been carrying out the works on government time, but one was reluctant to do so. 

Under cross-examination in the libel proceedings, one of the workmen denied taking an oath on the declaration, saying he had only signed it after being pushed into doing so. The other men gave similar versions of events. 

After they signed the declaration, two of the workers made an affidavit in which they denied going voluntarily and that they had acted on the orders of their foreman. A board of inquiry had noted that the men were fearful of their superiors and had felt constrained to sign the declaration. 

In 2017, Bezzina won a libel suit against GWU newspaper l-Orizzont, which alleged the MP had pressured government employees to say they had done the work out of their free will in a sworn declaration.