€20,000 Bvlgari watch Yorgen Fenech gave to Joseph Muscat for Christmas - report

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has been alleged to have accepted a white-gold Bvlgari watch in 2014 from Yorgen Fenech as a Christmas gift

Was that why he said ‘on my watch’ so many times? Outgoing PM Joseph Muscat has been said to have accepted an expensive gift from Yorgen Fenech back in 2014
Was that why he said ‘on my watch’ so many times? Outgoing PM Joseph Muscat has been said to have accepted an expensive gift from Yorgen Fenech back in 2014

Clocks and timepieces seem to have won their place in the legend of Maltese politics.

In 2013, it was the Maltese ‘arlogg tal-lira’ clock gifted to PN minister Tonio Fenech by the oil trader who was granted a pardon to turn State’s evidence in the Enemalta kickbacks scandal.

But now, with outgoing prime minister Joseph Muscat on holiday for the Christmas season, it is news of an alleged €20,000 gift by Yorgen Fenech.

The report claims that the prime minister was gifted a Bvlgari watch said to be valued at €20,000, by Yorgen Fenech, the Tumas magnate facing charges of having masterminded the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The watch, emblazoned with the Malta and EU flags to mark the 10th anniversary of Malta’s accession to the EU, was one of 25 watches acquired by the magnate’s late father George Fenech, who died in December 2014. The watch was said to have been a gift for Christmas.

According to Lovin Malta, the watch was number 17 of the limited edition: ironically, the same number of Fenech’s offshore company in Dubai, 17 Black - said to have been George Fenech’s lucky number at the roulette table - now revealed to have been connected to the secret Panama offshore companies opened by Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.

If true, the gift carries massive implications in terms of the ministerial code of ethics, as well as for the sheer value of the gift.

The report harkens back to the gift received by finance minister Tonio Fenech from the family of oil trader George Farrugia, who was granted a presidential pardon by the Gonzi administration to turn State’s evidence on the Enemalta oil scandal. The clock had been made by Ines Farrugia, who is married to George Farrugia’s brother, Raymond. Raymond Farrugia had commissioned the clock at the request of his brother. Ines Farrugia had been paid for making the clock by Powerplan Limited – an oil trading company owned by the Farrugia brothers, which was at the centre of the oil procurement scandal. George Farrugia and his brother, Raymond, had gone to Fenech’s residence to personally hand the clock to the minister.

More in National