PN deputy leader casts doubts over government’s Azerbaijan links

Beppe Fenech Adami says Azerbaijan 'most corrupt country in the world', Socar 'one of the most corrupt oil companies in the world'

The Maltese delegation (at right) meeting Azeri officials in December 2014
The Maltese delegation (at right) meeting Azeri officials in December 2014

PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami hit out at the government’s relationship with Azerbaijan, that he described as “the most corrupt country in the world”.

Speaking during his parliamentary adjournment, Fenech Adami recounted how Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri and energy minister Konrad Mizzi had held secret negotiations in Baku in December 2014.

“That was around the same time that Mizzi and Schembri both set up secret companies in Panama and trusts in New Zealand,” Fenech Adami said. “The negotiations in Azerbaijan led to a hedging deal [with state-owned Azeri company] Socar that lost the country millions of euro.”

He said that a quick Google search of Socar – also part of the ElectroGas consortium tasked with constructing a LNG power station – will display several instances of corruption.

“Socar is one of the most corrupt oil companies in the world, and this government gave them permission to construct a power station,” he said.

He added that Azeri millionaire Manuchehr Ahadpur Khangah, who he described as “corrupt”, set up six holding companies in Malta in February 2015 through Nexia BT.

Fenech Adami said that Mizzi's admission that setting up a company in Panama was "bad judgement" was reason enough for the Prime Minister to fire him, and he questioned why Joseph Muscat has refused to fire either him or Schembri.

“This is a Prime Minister of two weights and two measures. He was perfectly willing to politically murder Godfrey Farrugia and Anglu Farrugia, but he isn’t strong enough to do the same to Mizzi and Schembri.”

More in National