[WATCH] Minister steers away from controversy on suspected kidnapper with Transport Malta contract

Aaron Farrugia ‘uninformed’ of criminal proceedings against Christian Borg, who was awarded a Transport Malta contract, and says he is still adjusting to the new portfolio

Transport minister Aaron Farrugia
Transport minister Aaron Farrugia

Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia has claimed he is “uninformed” of the criminal proceedings against Christian Borg, who is facing charges for kidnapping, and whose company Princess Operations recently secured a 41-vehicle tender with Transport Malta.

Asked about developments related to the formal award of the tender earlier this month, Farrugia refused to enter into the controversy and said he was still adjusting to his new portfolio. Farrugia was tasked with the transport portfolio after March’s election, taking over from Ian Borg who is now serving as foreign minister.

“I don’t have the information on the case. Obviously, it’s a portfolio that is new for me and I am still adjusting to the new role. When such information becomes available to me, I will be in a better position to communicate it with you,” Farrugia said.

Borg and five other men made headlines after they were arrested in January and charged with the abduction and assault of a man, threatening to have his fingers cut off and his sister raped. They are all currently on bail.

Farrugia echoed Prime Minister Robert Abela’s comments recently, who had justified the award of the tender on grounds that the courts had rejected an appeal made by the runner up bidder.

“The moment Malta’s entities start ignoring the sentences of courts, we would have anarchy and a regression in the rule of law,” Abela had said.

This appeal was however made in relation to the price offered by Princess Operations and had occurred prior to the alleged kidnapping incident.

“The Prime Minister already gave his comments and he was very clear on this. I agree with what he said – that there was a legal process which had to be observed. The courts have decided,” Farrugia said.

Farrugia also said he was “uninformed” of the process related to a small quotations call for 15 vehicles issued by Transport Malta in February, when criminal proceedings against Borg were underway. During this period, Borg had resigned from director of the company, ceding it to former Labour Party photographer Joseph Camenzuli but remains the ultimate beneficiary owner.

The minister also refused to comment on whether public entities should be awarding tenders to individuals or companies who are involved in criminal activities and said he did not want to prejudge any case.