Jason Azzopardi accuses Konrad Mizzi of escaping justice, Prime Minister of covering up

Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi accuses the Prime Minister of colluding with Konrad Mizzi to avoid having him investigated by the new police commissioner 

Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi
Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi

Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi has accused Konrad Mizzi of absconding to the UK to avoid being investigated over corruption and money laundering.

Mizzi has been abroad in the UK, where he also owns a house, since 13 March.

In his adjournment speech in parliament this evening, Azzopardi also accused Prime Minister Robert Abela of colluding with Mizzi to avoid having him investigated by the police.

“Konrad Mizzi is supposed to be under investigation, which means he should be arrested over money laundering and corruption... instead he is hatching a plan with Robert Abela to be given a guarantee that the new police commissioner will not arrest and investigate him and this is why he remains in the UK,” Azzopardi charged.

The Opposition MP accused Mizzi of corruption “not only in Malta but also in Montenegro”.

He then listed Mizzi’s six official visits to Montenegro over the span of a year between 2014 and 2015. In three of these visits, Mizzi took with him his personal lawyer as an advisor.

Azzopardi said on these visits, Mizzi changed two hotels within the space of two days despite these being an hour away from each other.

“He was involved in bribery in Montenegro, involving millions of euros,” Azzopardi alleged.

Enemalta and Montenegro

At the time, Mizzi was energy minister and oversaw the new gas power station tender and the investment in Enemalta of Shanghai Electric Power.

In 2015, Enemalta entered into a deal in Montenegro for the construction of a wind power project for which the company put up a guarantee of €1.5 million.

The period coincided with the efforts by Mizzi’s personal financial advisor Karl Cini from Nexia BT to set up Panama companies for him and then prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri.

The following year, Mizzi’s and Schembri’s plans to open companies in Panama were outed by journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Her reporting preceded the Panama Papers.

In parliament, Azzopardi claimed that Mizzi’s visits to Montenegro were part of a corrupt plan.

Diabolic plan

The PN MP insisted the Prime Minister had to say why he was covering up for Mizzi. “What is the diabolic plan being hatched? Is this why the new police commissioner will be on a year-long probation?”

Azzopardi also asked the government to publish the November 2015 agreement that Enemalta entered into in Montenegro.

Mizzi resigned from minister in November last year when businessman Yorgen Fenech was arrested in connection with the Caruana Galizia murder.

Fenech is a shareholder in the Electrogas project and owned the secretive Dubai company 17 Black, which appeared as a target client on documents pertaining to the Panama companies set up by Mizzi and Schembri.

Mizzi was not re-appointed to Cabinet when Abela became prime minister last January and a lucrative consultancy contract he landed a month earlier with the tourism authority was rescinded.

Government then proposed Mizzi as head of the parliamentary delegation to the OSCE, a decision that was revoked after widespread uproar.

Mizzi has been in the UK since the second week of March and has presented parliament a medical certificate to justify his absence.

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