Updated - Two former Enemalta officials arraigned in oil scandal
Updated 2 p.m.
Former Enemalta chief financial officer Tarcisio Mifsud threatened former oil procurement board member Alfred Mallia and oil trader George Farrugia with legal action during a confrontation at police headquarters, a court was told today.
Police Inspector Angelo Gafa' made the point during Mr Mifsud's arraignment to face corruption charges in connection with the oil procurement scandal.
Mr Mallia was arraigned on the same charges earlier. Both pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.
During Mr Mallia's arraignment, Inspector Gafa' said that Mr Mallia was arrested yesterday and questioned. The prosecution, he said, was asking for the freezing of his assets.
The court agreed.
During consideration of bail, Inspector Gafa said that he was objecting because of the seriousness of the case, although the prosecution was conscious of the fact that his health was failing.
Defence counsel said his client was presumed innocent until proven otherwise. There was a big difference between him and the other accused. He was an employee and not a big businessman. He was also a grandfather of 11, had suffered heart failure and suffered a condition where his bones were being eaten away. This was his first time before a court. Furthermore, the other accused had been granted bail.
Bail was granted against a deposit of €5,000 and a personal guarantee of €30,000.
During Mr Mifsud's arraignment the prosecution strongly objected to bail, saying two witnesses, Mr Mallia and oil trader George Farrugia would give evidence against Mr Mifsud.
Inspector Gafa' added that Mr Mifsud had threatened Mr Mallia and George Farrugia during a confrontation.
Dr Stefano Filletti, defence counsel, said the threat was of legal action and not of some physical action.
The court granted bail with the same conditions as Mr Mallia's.
The arraignments come after the compilation of evidence against former Enemalta chairman Tancred Tabone began yesterday.
During the sitting Assistant Commissioner Michael Cassar testified that Mr Tabone was in cahoots with petrochemist Frank Sammut to take commissions off the sale of oil from international firms Total and Trafigura.
In separate proceedings, which are not directly connected to the graft on tenders, the police also arraigned prominent businessmen Tony Cassar, of Cassar Ship Repair and Francis Portelli, managing director of Virtu Ferries.