Leo Brincat denies appointing Frank Sammut

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

Labour MP Leo Brincat this morning denied that he was the one who, as minister responsible for Enemalta, had appointed Frank Sammut to the oil procurement committee.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Brincat said Mr Sammut - who is at the centre of allegations of commissions for oil purchases - had been appointed by then Parliamentary Secretary Ninu Zammit in the late 1980s.

Mr Sammut had even been given an office at the Enemalta building despite not being an employee of the corporation.

He said that when he was minister (1996-1998) he had appointed Paul Vella as chairman of MOBC to ensure that there were no irregularities in oil bunkering services.

It look like the suspicions he had had the time had foundation, Mr Brincat said. He noted that he had asked Infrastructure Minister Austin Gatt a question in parliament based on a claim in a renowned bunkering journal that Mr Sammut was associated with a bunkering company in which a former Enemalta chairman was also involved. At the time, Mr Brincat said, he had received reports of excessive dependence on one or two companies. At the time, the minister had said he preferred to see oil purchases from a cluster of companies as a way to reducing costs for refining the oil.

In his press conference Mr Brincat said he reports of various irregularities in Wasteserv and workers were prepared to provide information once a Whistleblower Act was in place. He said the irregularities involvement tendering and procurement as well as various management practices.

Labour candidate Manuel Mallia said a labour government would be very careful and would conduct detailed research before awarding contracts, particularly to multinational companies who had been mentioned in the context of corruption.

Both Dr Mallia and Mr Brincat said the government was not credible when it promised legislation to fight corruption, to protect whistleblowers and to regulate party financing. All three had been promised for years and it was indicative that no legislation was moved.  




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