Claudio Grech denies being in charge of Austin Gatt’s campaign

Shadow economy minister insists he was not aware of the donors to former minister Austin Gatt's electoral campaign in 2008

Claudio Grech (left) with former minister Austin Gatt
Claudio Grech (left) with former minister Austin Gatt

Shadow economy minister Claudio Grech today contradicted former PN minister Austin Gatt’s claims that he was one of two persons who were in charge of his electoral campaign in 2008.

Speaking at the end of a press conference earlier today, the MP – who served as Gatt’s head of secretariat - claimed that he had not been in charge of the former minister’s campaign.

Grech also denied allegations that he was aware of the donors to Gatt’s 2008 electoral campaign. “I was not in charge of Gatt’s campaign, nor did I ever receive any donations,” Grech stressed.

During the PAC grilling last week, Gatt said that two members of his secretariat – Tonio Mifsud Bonnici and Grech – took care of his campaigning. “But they never handled donations,” Gatt said.

Gatt testified that Grech organised electoral campaign activities while Mifsud Bonnici was responsible for the door-to-door campaign. “I doubt any money was given to Grech,” he said.

But Grech today said that the former infrastructure minister had explained that he “preferred not knowing” who his donors were, so as not to be accused of favouritism, in front of the public affairs committee.

Grech explained how neither Gatt, nor Grech himself had been aware that pardoned oil trader George Farrugia had donated €2,000 to his campaign.

During the PAC sitting, Gatt also refused to name his campaign helpers, arguing that he “shoulders responsibility for his campaign.”

Gatt also defended donations he received from the Farrugia family – including the use of cars and Valentine Hall during the 2008 campaign.