Mizzi misses PAC grilling after hospital admission on peritonitis diagnosis

Former minister Konrad Mizzi has been diagnosed with case of peritonitis

Independent MP Konrad Mizzi
Independent MP Konrad Mizzi

Updated at 14:30 with PAC meeting summary

Former minister Konrad Mizzi has been admitted to hospital suffering from peritonitis, this newspaper is informed.

As a result, he missed his third parliamentary public accounts committee meeting that was to continue hearing his testimony today Wednesday afternoon, on an NAO report into the selection of Electrogas for the Delimara gas plant project which he presided over as energy minister.

Mizzi is expected to stay in hospital for the next few days.

Mizzi serves as an independent MP in parliament after being sacked from the Labour Party’s parliamentary group in 2020 over the Enemalta-Mozura wind farm scandal.

So far Mizzi has appeared twice before the PAC, both sessions regularly interrupted by heated exchange between Mizzi and PAC chair Beppe Fenech Adami over accusations of corruption.

Konrad Mizzi emerges from his second hearing at the PAC

[WATCH] PAC turns into show of hysterics as Mizzi defends Electrogas deal, mocks Fenech Adami ‘royal highness’

Before agreeing to testify, Mizzi had repeatedly told the committee that he would not be turning up for questioning, calling the committee’s investigation a “partisan attack” on the Delimara gas plant project.

In its second session, the PAC had to pause its hearing after Mizzi lashed out at Karol Aquilina and his recent dangerous driving charges. Mizzi was giving an oral presentation on the Electrogas project, which he spearheaded as minister, when his testimony turned rowdy.

What is peritonitis?

Peritonitis is a redness and swelling, or inflammation, of the tissue that lines your belly or abdomen. This tissue is called the peritoneum. It can be a serious, deadly disease.

Peritonitis is caused by an infection. Bacteria can enter the lining of your belly from a hole in the GI  (gastrointestinal) tract. This can happen if you have a hole in your colon or a burst appendix.

Other causes of peritonitis include: a hole in your stomach, intestine, gallbladder, uterus, or bladder; an infection during treatment for end-stage kidney (renal) disease (peritoneal dialysis); or an infection of fluid in the belly from end-stage liver disease (cirrhosis).

Symptoms may include severe belly pain that gets worse with any motion, nausea, fever, not being able to have a bowel movement or pass gas, trouble breathing, or low blood pressure and shock.

Very ill patients might need surgery to find and remove what is causing the infection. Peritonitis can lead to serious health problems very quickly.

Peritonitis can make fluid fill up in the belly or abdomen. This can cause severe fluid loss or dehydration. If peritonitis isn’t treated the infection can quickly spread through the body, creating an extreme response from the immune system called sepsis.

PAC meeting rescheduled for Wednesday 24 November

During the PAC meeting on Wednesday afternoon, the committee confirmed that on Tuesday Mizzi’s legal team had confirmed his admission to hospital and that he would resume his testimony once recovered.

The committee was not in a position to reschedule or update the meeting in time.

The next session will be held on Wednesday 24 November and apart from Mizzi (pending his recovery), Electrogas shareholder Paul Apap Bologna has also been called to testify.

PAC Chairman Beppe Fenech Adami noted that Tumas Group Executive Chairman and CEO Raymond Fenech, failed to provide documentation to the committee by 15 November. A unanimous decision was taken, ordering Fenech to present the documentation not later than Friday 19 November.