[WATCH] Minister says Enemalta will cooperate with any investigation on Montenegro scandal

Michael Farrugia says Mozura wind farm investment will not be terminated but said Enemalta will cooperate even in Europol investigation

Energy minister Michael Farrugia
Energy minister Michael Farrugia

Energy minister Michael Farrugia said Enemalta will cooperate fully on national and international investigations into the Montenegro wind farm scandal, backing calls for justice to be made on the state energy utility’s acquisition of the Mozura wind park.

“The necessary steps will be taken if anyone did anything wrong,” Farrugia said on TVM’s Xtra.

But Farrguia defended an internal inquiry taking place on the wind farm acquisition, despite doubts on the credibility of certain high-level employees who had strong ties to individuals connected to the scandal.

“We opened the doors wide open for the police to carry out the necessary investigations”, he said. “And if need be there can be Europol with them as well. We have no problem with Europol carrying out an investigation together with the local police.”

Farrugia also said any Enemalta employees who may have a conflict of interest should take a step back at this moment in time. “If there are any persons identified who might have some involvement, I have no problem telling them to step back.”

Farrugia however said he would not be pulling back any state investments turning a profit for Enemalta, and that only the people found guilty of wrongdoing will be punished. “I will support my government in whatever decision it may be taking so that steps are taken against people involved and criminal charges levied against them, because they would have not just tarnished the company’s name, but also that of our country.”

He cited as an example the retention of the BWSC power plant at Delimara, despite the revelations of the oil scandal in 2013. “In the case of the BWSC our country’s environment was destroyed, but we changed the power plant from heavy fuel oil to gas. There was corruption alleged then but we did not close the power station; we took the necessary steps so that we could turn it to gas. It was not shut down just because there was corruption behind it.”

He denied accusations of inaction during his tenure as home affairs minister, on the investigatiosn carried out by the police.

“Police investigations will continue to be carried out by the police. As minister for the interior, it was important that I give the proper tools to the police corps.”

Farrugia insisted that he provided the police force with all the support they required at every opportunity, even stepping in when they needed to bring in investigators or advisors from abroad. “I supported the police when they asked for assistance from the FBI, and when they asked for the intervention of Europol. Whenever the corps asked me for assistance, both for equipment and for assistance from abroad, I stepped in and got that help for them”.

But he admitted that there were certain members of the police force who did not enjoy his trust, and that there were even some who he asked to be investigated, but said that most of the corps were effective and carried out their duties responsibly.

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