Claims that Konrad Mizzi transferred the Panama company to his New Zealand trust on the same day Gasol sold its entire shareholding in Electrogas to its consortium partners were yesterday described as “hogwash”.
The two concurrent events, flagged by The Malta Independent on Sunday, were described as “a coincidence too many” by Opposition leader Simon Busuttil yesterday but dismissed by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
Electrogas is building the gas power station and the consortium’s shareholding is made up of Azerbaijani State oil company Socar, Germany’s Siemens and the Maltese-owned GEM Holdings.
In a curt reply after exiting the Dingli Labour Party club, Dr Muscat described the story as “hogwash”. It was followed by a statement from the Energy Ministry accusing the paper of trying to “sensationalise unrelated and distinct events”.
Dr Mizzi had refused to give the newspaper an interview unless certain conditions were met. In a letter published by The Malta Independent on Sunday, Dr Mizzi’s lawyer asked for full disclosure of documents and questions prior to the interview, something the newspaper refused to accept.
The events happened in July last year. Dr Mizzi transferred his Panama shell company, Hearnville Inc., to his trust on July 22. On the same day, Gasol sold its 30 per cent stake in Electrogas to the remaining three partners after it ran into financial difficulties.
Dr Busuttil said this coincidence further fuelled suspicions of corruption, more so when the power station contracts were not published.
The Energy Ministry said a full tax audit “would show such insinuations to be baseless and malicious”.