Two businessmen charged in oil procurement scandal, granted bail
Tony Cassar, chairman of Cassar Ship Repair and Francis Portelli, of Virtu Ferries, have been accused of corruption and money laundering in the Enemalta oil procurement scandal. Prosecuting Inspector Angelo Gafa' said, however, that this case has nothing to do with commissions.
The two were arraigned together, two days after similar charges were filed against former Enemalta chairman Tancred Tabone and his then consultant Frank Tabone.
The charges stem from their involvement in the oil storage company Island Bunker Oils, and several other maritime and bunkering interests which they co-own with former Enemalta Chairman Tancred Tabone.
Inspector Gafa' said that a distinction had to be made between last Tuesday's arraignment and today's. Mr Tabone and Mr Sammut had been public officials and their case was more serious, he said.
The charges say that Mr Cassar and Mr Portelli bribed Mr Tabone and Mr Sammut.
Prior to deciding on bail, the court was told that both Mr Cassar and Mr Portelli had cooperated with the police.
Mr Cassar and Mr Portelli were granted bail against a personal deposit of €20,000 and a personal guarantee of a further €20,000 and placed under curfew. Their assets have been frozen.
Last Tuesday, Mr Tabone and Mr Sammut were granted bail against a deposit of €3,000 and a personal guarantee of €15,000. However, the Attorney General filed an appeal yesterday, asking for the bail to be revoked. The hearing will be held on Monday.