Pardoned oil trader George Farrugia told the Public Accounts Committee this evening that he and his brothers had given the Labour Party a car at around the same time that they had given former Finance Minister Tonio Fenech a crafted clock.
His brother Raymond, he said, had been in contact with former Labour official Manuel Cuschieri over the Daiwoo donation.
He also said that another two crafted clocks, worth €400 each, had been donated to the Nationalist Party and were included in the Independence Day lottery prizes.
Earlier, Mr Farrugia said that the former head of Enemalta’s Petroleum Division had asked him for a cut after when he approached him after a port strike in 1999 and asked him whether Total was interested in providing fuel, the Public Accounts Committee heard this evening.
Testifying for more than three hours in front of the committee, Mr Farrugia, assisted by lawyer Franco Debono, said Total, for whom he was local agent, made use of the Has Saptan storage facility. He said he used to get paid 12 cents per tonne per month, from which he used to pay Mr Mallia 5c.
Mr Farrugia is this evening answering questions from Public Accounts Committee members after the Speaker ruled yesterday that the Presidential pardon given to him also covered his testimony to Parliament.
Mr Farrugia said he knew that Tarcisio Mifsud, who was then Enemalta’s head of finance, was involved when Mr Mallia was in hospital in 2000 or 2001. He had gone to see Mr Mallia and he had told him to go to speak to Mr Mifsud who told him that he had to pay him whatever he used to pay Mr Mallia because they used to split.
He said he used to call him and he used to go to his office to pass on the money.
He remember one particular time when he called him had he gave him Lm3,000 and Mr Mifsud told his he had no chance of winning the next tender.
Mr Farrugia told the committee he never spoke to anyone about the matter as he did not know who he could turn to. Now he knew that his payments were useless.
He said that towards the end of his term, a jet fuel shipment was made and he had spoken to former Tancred Tabone who he knew as the owner of Forestals. Mr Tabone was at the time chairman of MOBC and later became chairman of Enemalta.
Total, Mr Farrugia said, were interested in taking over the MOBC when there were plans to privatise it and he had organised meetings.
He said he had spoken to former MOBC CEO Frank Sammut about the corruption and he had told Mr Tabone.
Around the year 2000, he had a meeting with Mr Sammut, who he knew earlier as a surveyor, who asked him would he would pay him and he had offered him half of his earnings.
Power Plan, Mr Farrugia said, used to invoice MOBC on consultancy and he used to get half his fee, which was $1 per tonne. He received at least $100,000 because they used to get some 5,000 tonnes per month.
He said he spent more than six months paying Mr Sammut but at that time he did not know that Mr Tabone was also involved.
Mr Farrugia said that Trafigura were also interested in supplying fuel oils to Malta so he spoke to Mr Sammut and he told him to tell them to come to Malta. This was at the end of 2002.
Tim Waters from Trafigura came Malta towards the end of 2003 and met Mr Sammut at MOBC. While discussing supplies to MOBC, he had said that a tender was going to be issued for Enemalta. Mr Sammut later told him that if they won the supply tender, he would have to give him 50c per tonne.
The parliamentary committee is probing the shortcomings flagged by the Auditor General in his report on Enemalta’s oil procurement between 2008 and 2011.
Earlier today, former Enemalta chairman Tancred Tabone said through his lawyer Henri Mizzi he did not wish to reply to questions since he was going through criminal proceedings and could incriminate himself.
So far, only Enemalta officials have testified at the PAC’s twice-weekly meetings since August.
At the November 20 meeting it was agreed to suspend the hearings for a couple of weeks to give Parliament time to summon the remaining witnesses.
Former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and ex-ministers Austin Gatt and Tonio Fenech are among the high-profile names in the list of more than 50 witnesses.
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