Electrogas director Paul Apap Bologna refused to respond to questions about his offshore company during a parliamentary committee grilling on Wednesday. 

Times of Malta uncovered last month how Apap Bologna was behind an offshore company identical to 17 Black, the shell company linked to government corruption and owned by murder suspect and fellow Electrogas investor Yorgen Fenech .

Apap Bologna’s company, Kittiwake was set up in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the summer of 2015, two months after 17 Black was established in the same region.

The timing also coincides with attempts by former energy minister Konrad Mizzi and former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri to open up UAE accounts for their Panama companies.

During a sitting of the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday, Apap Bologna was repeatedly asked questions about his offshore holding. 

However, on advice from his lawyer Gianella de Marco, he exercised his right not to answer the question.  

The PAC is investigating a 2018 National Audit Office (NAO) report into the Electrogas deal which had flagged “multiple similarities” in the presentation about the project circulated by Apap Bologna and the eventual project undertaken by the Labour government in 2013.

‘Daphne would still be alive’

Earlier in the sitting, PAC chairman Beppe Fenech Adami, an Opposition MP, declared that had the power station deal not gone ahead then neither would the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.  

The statement prompted an outroar from the government MPs who claimed that Fenech Adami had violating Apap Bologna’s right to presumption of innocence. 

Fenech Adami, however, stood by his statement, repeating it several times over.

The hour-and-a-half long sitting was largely taken up by an opening discussion over whether or not Apap Bologna is obliged to answer all questions put to him by the committee. 

The witness’s lawyer argued that a court was currently deciding whether the rules governing the committee violated fundamental human rights.  

The committee, however, decided to steam ahead with its line of questioning which was taken up entirely by Karol Aquilina.  

The opposition MP asked whether Apap Bologna had lied during the previous sitting when he explained why Fenech had acquired a 10% personal shareholding in the power station project. 

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