Enemalta has been ordered to hand over an internal report about the Montenegro wind- farm deal, in a freedom of information win for Times of Malta.
The state-owned energy company last year rejected a request to view the report, claiming its contents were legally privileged. An appeal before the freedom of information watchdog, the IDPC, successfully overturned Enemalta’s refusal.
Information and Data Protection Commissioner Ian Deguara ordered Enemalta to give Times of Malta a copy of the report within 20 working days.
After seeing a copy of the report, Deguara concluded that, contrary to Enemalta’s arguments for refusing access, the report does not have any information which could be classified or covered by legal privilege, professional secrecy and confidentiality.
The commissioner said the report should be redacted to remove any personal data pertaining to the legal professionals who drew it up.
Lawyer Therese Comodini Cachia filed the appeal as part of a legal support programme for journalists by the Daphne Caruana Galizia foundation.
Selected excerpts from the report were published with Enemalta’s annual financial statements for 2019 and 2020.
According to the excerpts, Enemalta did not have an anti-money-laundering policy in place at the time of the Montenegro transaction.
The excerpts also highlighted how e-mail accounts of Enemalta’s directors at the time of the deal were not accessible as they did not hold a corporate account.
Even worse, the corporate e-mails of employees who have since left the company were said to be “no longer available”.
No anti-money-laundering policy in place at time of transaction
Times of Malta had uncovered how murder suspect and power station businessman Yorgen Fenech had secretly profited from Enemalta’s purchase of the wind farm. Former energy minister Konrad Mizzi was kicked out of Labour’s parliamentary group soon after.
An inquiry into the deal is ongoing.
In March, Times of Malta reported that the probe had stalled after police “delays” in executing a search on Enemalta’s premises.
The search was deemed necessary to shed further light on the deal, in the hope of seizing documentary evidence necessary to build up a case.
Enemalta bought the Montenegro wind farm for €10.3 million, triple the €2.9 million paid just two weeks earlier by Cifidex. Cifidex was the anonymous offshore vehicle that sold the wind farm shares to Enemalta in December 2015 for a considerable profit.
An investigation by Times of Malta and Reuters uncovered how Cifidex was owned by Turab Musayev, who used to sit on the Electrogas consortium board with Fenech.