Jailed for perjury: ‘I feared they would kill me like they tried with Kelly Fenech’

Oil trading, political discrimination, and an attempted murder... and a Bahrija landowner jailed for perjury

A court has sent to jail a man who gave false testimony in court, ostensibly for fearing he would be shot.

Generoso Sammut, 64 from Siggiewi, was charged with perjury, breaching bail and recidivism, after he had lied under oath in a court sitting before Judge Anthony Ellul in 2013.

The perjury is connected to several civil cases instituted by brothers Michelangelo and Alfred Fenech, who are suing Enemalta, and Mediterranean Oil Bunkers Limited (MOBC) for damages, claiming to have been deliberately put out of business for political reasons.

The Fenechs had claimed that they had their licences as oil traders suspended on order of the former Nationalist minister Ninu Zammit because of their links to former Labour Prime Minister Dom Mintoff.

It was in one of their civil suits that Generoso Sammut had made an affidavit claiming he had known the Fenechs for 35 years; but in October 2013 before Judge Anthony Ellul, Sammut gave false testimony, ostensibly in order to get them to lose their case. It was Ellul who ordered that Sammut be investigated for perjury.

A police sergeant who later interrogated Sammut about this, told the court that when asked why he had declared not to know them Sammut said it “made no difference to the magistrate” and that he “wanted to get out of this situation with no problems with either side.”

Generoso Sammut, known as Jimmy, claimed that on one occasion in 1997, Alfred offered him Lm20,000 to kill his brother, but that he refused. A year later in 1998, Emanuel Zammit was charged with the attempted murder of Kelly Fenech, during which trial Alfred Fenech denied having commissioned the murder.

Sammut also claimed he had refused to be summoned in a case on land worth millions of euro when requested by Alfred Fenech’s son. “Knowing what happened between them, I hesitated,” Sammut said, fearing he would suffer the same fate as Kelly Fenech. “If you reach the point where you shoot at another human being, you are capable of everything,” Sammut – who has in the past been accused of shooting at a police officer – said.

Magistrate Neville Camilleri, in hearing the charges brought by the police against Sammut, said that all elements of perjury were present and found Sammut guilty.

Sammut was found guilty and sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment together with general interdiction as well as a ban on him serving as a witness for 10 years.