Konrad Mizzi has been given a fourth appointment to appear before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee after rebuffing the first two and missing the third because, he said, his lawyer was unavailable.

The committee wants to interview the former energy minister in connection with the building of the Electrogas power station.

Mizzi, an independent MP who was expelled from the Labour parliamentary group last year, had rejected the first two summons from the PAC, saying he had a right to do so as an MP. He called the PAC investigation a "partisan attack" on a project that has brought “many benefits" to the country.

On Tuesday, before the prime minister addressed the House about the budget, the Opposition demanded a vote in the full House to order Mizzi to appear before the committee. But before the plenary sitting started, Mizzi said he would attend the PAC on Wednesday, and he would not let the opposition hinder the prime minister's address. 

But writing on Facebook just over an hour before that scheduled testimony, Mizzi said he had the right to be assisted by a lawyer during the hearing but his lawyer could not attend at such short notice.

He said he would appear before the committee on a date and time when all parties can make it, including his lawyer.

Committee agrees Mizzi must attend

When the committee met, the members agreed that Mizzi should be summoned to appear on Tuesday, October 26, at 2pm.  He will also be asked to attend at the same time the following day.  

Businessman Paul Apap Bologna, one of the shareholders in the project, has also been asked to attend.  

Apap Bologna had already been questioned by the committee earlier this year. 

Paul Apap Bologna flanked by his lawyer Giannella de Marco.Paul Apap Bologna flanked by his lawyer Giannella de Marco.

Committee chairman Beppe Fenech Adami initially suggested that Mizzi be asked to attend on Friday, however, government MPs said it was too short notice for them. 

The weekend was not an option either, with government whip Glenn Bedingfield saying he would not attend on Saturday as he has “a life outside politics”. 

'I have 150 questions for Konrad Mizzi'

Opposition MP Karol Aquilina said he had some 150 questions to ask Mizzi.  

Fenech Adami has insisted it is Mizzi’s “duty” to answer questions, describing the former minister as a “coward” and “chicken” for not attending.

The floating gas storage facility forming part of the Electrogas power station.. File photo.The floating gas storage facility forming part of the Electrogas power station.. File photo.

Why is Mizzi being summoned?

Mizzi served as a Labour MP and minister until he was kicked out of the party.

He helped craft the energy policy that saw the PL rise to government and piloted the Electrogas power station project. 

He was energy minister when Electrogas was awarded the power station tender. 

Later, the Panama Papers revealed that he and the former prime minister's chief of staff, Keith Schembri had both opened offshore companies. 

Then in 2017, it transpired that the companies were to receive funds from, 17 Black, owned by Electrogas shareholder and businessman Yorgen Fenech, who is accused of conspiring to murder journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Last year Mizzi was expelled from the Labour Party’s parliamentary group after Times of Malta revealed his involvement another scandal involving a Montenegro wind farm

It showed how public money was used to funnel €4.6 million to 17 Black, set up to pay money into Mizzi's Panama-based company.

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