Outcry in the House as Fenech Adami repeats blogger’s ‘bribery’ accusations

Energy and health minister Konrad Mizzi accuses PN of 'working in tandem' with Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose blog outed the minister on his offshore company in Panama

Parliament descended into a shouting match as PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami repeated accusations by blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia that energy minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri were taking bribes from “dictators”.

This is the Prime Minister we are talking about,” Fenech Adami said as he read from one of Caruana Galizia’s blogposts. “His head of secretariat and his energy minister are setting up companies in Panama to take bribes, kickbacks and dirty money from dictators and corrupt businessmen. They have finally been caught.”  

“I made an error of judgement, but my intent was noble throughout, and my intention from the start was to help my family.” Konrad Mizzi

Fenech Adami was responding to a ministerial statement by Konrad Mizzi on an inquiry that largely dismissed the Opposition’s allegations of abuse at the Addolorata Cemetery. However, the PN deputy leader for party affairs focused on the controversy surrounding offshore companies set up by Mizzi and Schembri in Panama.

“This is a surreal situation. Thousands of angry people protested in Valletta yesterday at how Konrad Mizzi was caught owning a secret Panamanian company, and he has now come to Parliament to deliver a ministerial statement on cemeteries.”

He challenged him to speak “not about graves, but about what lies buried in Panama”.

Fenech Adami’s speech was punctuated by several points of orders from government ministers, who complained that his speech was unrelated to the ministerial statement that had been delivered. “While Fenech Adami enjoy quoting blogs from a website that is one and the same with the PN, we are in Parliament not on Xarabank,” justice minister Owen Bonnici said. “Mizzi has no problem discussing any subject under the sun, but we mustn’t allow Parliament to descend into a television show.”

However, the PN deputy leader was backed by independent MP Marlene Farrugia who said, “it doesn’t make sense for Parliament to discuss cemeteries when the public is discussing Mizzi’s company in Panama”.

Once the Opposition’s time was up, Konrad Mizzi stood up and accused the PN of being “one and the same” with Caruana Galizia.

“It is clear that the PN equates to Daphne Caruana Galizia, and indeed the deputy leader is now reading her blogs in Parliament,” he said, arguing that her blog was mentioned in the PN’s election loss report.

He challenged the Opposition to table a no confidence motion against him, adding that he was willing to hold the discussion as early as Wednesday. “Hand on heart I will do it. I made an error of judgement, but my intent was noble throughout, and my intention from the start [when setting up the company and trust] was to help my family. I work from Monday and Sunday to help the public.”

‘Busuttil, Fenech Adami hiding behind Caruana Galizia’ – PL

The Labour Party late accused Simon Busuttil and Beppe Fenech Adami of hiding behind their parliamentary privilege to quote Carauna Galizia, who the party said “has become an official PN spokesperson”.

“Konrad Mizzi challenged Busuttil and Fenech Adami to repeat verbatim what they said in Parlaiment tonight in the presence of the media, but they were once again too cowardly and afraid.”

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