Police look into Gatt’s Swiss bank account at his request
Gatt account investigated
Police are investigating Austin Gatt’s bank account in Switzerland after the Infrastructure Minister made a request and provided them with all the necessary information.
A day after it emerged that he had a Swiss bank account, Dr Gatt wrote to Police Commissioner John Rizzo giving him details of the UBS account.
The Commissioner was asked to investigate the account to ensure it was not connected with any criminal activity, particularly the ongoing investigation into an oil procurement scandal at Enemalta.
“Dr Gatt repeats that apart from this account and the other accounts and investments included in his parliamentary declaration of assets, he and his wife do not own or hold any other property, monies, investments or accounts in any part of the world and this either in their own name, or through third parties or through nominee companies, trusts etc,” the ministry said.
Asked by The Times, police confirmed that Dr Gatt had provided all the necessary information and that the case was being investigated.
Dr Gatt was asked about his Swiss account during a press conference on Thursday.
He said the account was opened by his father in 1973 and inherited by his mother. He then inherited the account when she passed away and the money inside the account will then passed on to Dr Gatt’s sons when they both come of age.
Dr Gatt later admitted he had “forgotten” to declare the account in his declaration of assets. Labour leader Joseph Muscat yesterday said that in the past this merited a resignation.
Dr Gatt has also maintained that there had been no transactions in the account for 40 years apart from accumulative interest.
Dr Gatt has forcefully maintained his innocence and addressed the press on Thursday to rebut “malicious insinuations” being made in his regard.
He also said he suspected a frame-up in his regard because of inconsistencies in various e-mails that talk about his meetings with oil trader George Farrugia, who has been offered a presidential pardon in return for giving evidence against others implicated the case.
It is alleged that several individuals took kickbacks on oil procurement contracts during the period that Dr Gatt was the minister responsible for Enemalta.