Tarcisio Mifsud says he had never met pardoned oil trader George Farrugia

Former Enemalta financial controller says he had never met or seen George Farrugia prior to his questioning by police.

Tarcisio Mifsud, a former Enemalta financial controller who allegedly received LM40,000 in kickbacks and commissions from pardoned oil trader George Farrugia, said today that he had never met or seen Farrugia prior to his questioning by police.

Mifsud was summoned to testify in the compilation of evidence against Enemalta’s former petroleum Chief Alfred Mallia who, along with Enemalta financial controller Tarcisio Mifsud and five other men, is facing corruption charges in connection with kickbacks and commission they are alleged to have received by pardoned oil trader George Farrugia for the supply of oil to Enemalta.

Farrugia, once the local agent of French oil giant Total, explained to the court that in 1997, he had previously told the court that he started giving Alfred Mallia a cut from his commission he received for sales to Enemalta. However, it eventually transpired that Mallia was splitting these kickbacks with Tarcisio Mifsud and after the latter was hospitalised, Farrugia claimed that he channelled the money to Mifsud.

However, Farrugia’s claims were rebutted this afternoon by Enemalta’s former financial controller Tarcisio Mifsud, who insisted that he never received Farrugia in his office.

Moreover, he said that he had never met or seen Farrugia, and had seen him for the first time at the police headquarters while being questioned.

Asked to react to Farrugia’s claims that he had gone to his office, Mifsud rebutted the claims, and stated that this “was absolutely not true.”

“He was never in my office. The first time I met George Farrugia was in the police depot when I was called on 25 February last year.”

“When the time is right, I will tell him [Farrugia] who took money and who did not. At least he was enough of a gentleman to say in front of the PAC that he never gave me any presents, and that I was not on the so-called wine list,” he said.

Earlier Mifsud said he joined Enemalta in 1974 and in 1987 the fuel procurement committee was set up. Between 1987 and December 2005, Mifsud and Mallia sat on the committee.

Despite being warned that his evidence could be used against him in a court of law, Mifsud nevertheless opted to testify but a fellow Enemalta official, Tancred Tabone, refused.

Magistrate Anthony Vella presided while Lawyer Kris Balzan appeared for Mallia, and Inspector Jonathan Ferris prosecuted.

The case continues on 4 December.