Gatt files for libel
Infrastructure Minister Austin Gatt has filed libel proceedings against newspaper Malta Today after it reported that an oil lobbyist seeking to secure lucrative Enemalta tenders had “allegedly” met the minister.
Dr Gatt has denied any wrongdoing while he was minister responsible for Enemalta and on Monday told The Times that during his tenure in Cabinet he had “never, ever talked with anyone, in any sector” he was responsible for about tenders.
“I have always refused to even entertain a conversation about any tenders and any complaints I have, over the years, received over the handling of tenders I have always had a stock reply: go to the police, the Commission Against Corruption or the Ombudsman.”
Malta Today ran a story on the lobbyist, George Farrugia, accompanied by documentation, a week after carrying another report that prompted a police investigation into the dealings of former Enemalta director Frank Sammut.
Mr Sammut was questioned by police after accusations were made that he received money in a foreign bank account from a company that supplied Enemalta with fuel oil.
Malta Today had published documents purporting to show how a nominee company belonging to him had invoiced Trafigura for a consultancy fee over an oil consignment in January 2004.