Ex-mayor repeats ‘pressure’ allegation
Former Sliema mayor Nikki Dimech yesterday repeated on oath an allegation that Nationalist Party general secretary Paul Borg Olivier had pressured him into choosing one company over another during a tender evaluation.
The tender in question to provide waste management to the town was worth €1.2 million, Mr Dimech said, adding that just 15 minutes before a council meeting was held to decide on the matter Dr Borg Olivier phoned him and instructed him to choose Green MT over Greenpak.
Mr Dimech took to the witness stand in the hearing of one of two libel cases instituted by Dr Borg Olivier against Malta Today.
Dr Borg Olivier made a complaint following the publication of two articles on August 22 last year.
In the sitting yesterday, Mr Dimech said the tender could not technically be called a tender but rather an expression of interest where two separate meetings between the council and the companies were held.
He said that following the phone call from Dr Borg Olivier which pressured him into choosing one over the other, he refrained from signing any contract.
The contract also included an obligation for the winning company to pay for €72,000 in educational material to provide to Sliema residents when it came to recycling.
But after Mr Dimech left office, his replacement signed the contract with Green MT some two weeks later, he said.
In cross-examination by Joe Zammit Maempel, Mr Dimech said that when Police Inspector Angelo Gafà had asked to speak to him at the police headquarters he had no idea that he was going to be questioned about bribery allegations.
He said that after leaving Mr Gafà ’s office, he drove home and switched on his mobile phone. Almost immediately he received a phone call from Dr Borg Olivier.
He said that he was surprised at this phone call and how Dr Borg Olivier had known he had released two statements to police.
The case continues.