Mater Dei inquiry board member involved in setting up of Panama companies for Labour officials - Busuttil

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil says Karl Cini, a partner at Nexia BT involved in the setting up of companies in Panama for senior Labour officials, also sat on the board tasked with analysing quality of concrete used at Mater Dei Hospital

PN leader Simon Busuttil
PN leader Simon Busuttil

Karl Cini, a partner at Nexia BT who was this morning revealed to have been involved in the setting up of companies in Panama for Labour officials five days after the March 2013 election, was also a member on the inquiry board tasked with investigating the quality of concrete used at Mater Dei.

This was revealed by Opposition leader Simon Busuttil this morning in the wake of a report by the Australian Financial Review which revealed that Nexia BT – the audit firm which is also an agent for Panamanian tax consultants Mossack Fonseca, the company at the centre of Panama Papers scandal - began setting up Panama companies for senior members of the Labour Party, days after the Labour Party won the general election on March 9, 2013.

Speaking ahead of an anti-corruption demonstration organised by the Nationalist Party, Busuttil said it was incredulous how Karl Cini was also a member of the inquiry board set up to investigate the inferior quality used at Mater Dei’s emergency building.

“The same person who was setting up a Panama company and a New Zealand trust for Konrad Mizzi is also investigating if the Mater Dei concrete was up to standard. Did you expect the probe to find that the quality of concrete used was good? I think not.”

“It is incredible. They are not ashamed of anything.”

“The conclusions of the inquiry are false and only intended to tarnish others and deflect attention from other issues,” Busuttil said.

The Opposition leader referred to the report in the Australian Financial Review and accused the government of being “dirty” and of having no shame.

The PN leader made the remarks during an impassioned speech at the party’s club in Birkirkara, during which he rallied all Nationalists, “genuine” Labourites and floating voters to attend this afternoon’s protest against corruption in Valletta.

“The day has come for all those who are against corruption to make their voice heard. All those who have Malta’s interests at heart must stand up and be counted,” he said.

'Muscat no longer fit for purpose' - Busuttil

The PN leader once again reiterated that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is guilty by association because he has failed to sack his chief of staff Keith Schembri and energy minister Konrad Mizzi after both admitted to having opened companies in Panama.

“There is enough grounds for them to be sacked. Muscat is no longer fit for purpose as he failed to act,” he said.

Busuttil called on “floating voters” to attend the protest and insisted that notwithstanding the Panamagate scandal and the subsequent leak of the Panama papers, voters should not lose their trust in politicians or become disenchanted by Maltese politics.

“If you lose your trust in politics, I wonder, who will lead the country? It is important that you trust those who believe in honest politics and not those who are deceiving you and insulting your intelligence,” Busuttil quipped.

The PN leader also said that “genuine” Labourites who had worked hard to see the Labour Party win the election, were now feeling “betrayed” and witnessing the government unravel.

“Labour supporters who worked hard to see their party in government and are now witnessing the state to which the leadership and the country has stooped should feel welcome to join the protest,” he said.

The PN leader also sought to refute claims that the protest was a partisan issue, and held that even though it was being organised by the Nationalist Party, the demonstration was a national event for everyone, irrespective of their political beliefs. Speakers would also included people from outside the party, Busuttil said.

“This protest will convey a national message. Anyone who is against corruption must stand up and be counted,” he said.

He also urged all PN supporters to attend the protest, saying the party always stood behind the people in the most challenging times. “We want to show the rest of the world that we are against corruption,” Busuttil rallied.  

More in National