Former Enemalta chairman cleared of public funds misuse
Advert

Former Enemalta chairman cleared of public funds misuse

Alex Tranter stood accused of misusing a company credit card

Alex Tranter: The prosecution based its allegations upon five particular episodes but he was acquitted of all wrongdoing.

Alex Tranter: The prosecution based its allegations upon five particular episodes but he was acquitted of all wrongdoing.

Former Enemalta chairman Alex Tranter has been cleared of misappropriating corporation funds during his tenure of office between 2005 and 2010.

Mr Tranter, 55, of Swieqi, had been targeted by criminal investigations back in May 2014 when the corporation’s Internal Audit Department had flagged alleged misuse of public funds and excessive spending when he acting as chairman.

After being twice interrogated, Mr Tranter was ultimately charged in October 2014, pleading “definitely not guilty” to misappropriation and misuse of the energy corporation’s credit card for personal expenses.

The prosecution based its allegations upon five particular episodes, the first relating to a £200 cash withdrawal from an ATM at Gatwick Airport in August 2008.

The court, presided over by magistrate Audrey Demicoli, observed that the allegation had stemmed from the fact that Mr Tranter had not been named on the corporation’s official travel list at the time, thus leading to the inference that the withdrawal had been effected for personal use.

Yet, as rightly pointed out by defence counsel Joe Giglio, no copy of such official list had been produced in court.

No evidence as to who had actually committed the contraventions

The second episode had concerned the €3,644 refund of two flight tickets to Miami for the Fuel Summit Conference, cancelled on behalf of the chief financial officer and allegedly directed to Mr Tranter’s personal account.

However, “after an accurate and meticulous examination” of the documentation brought in evidence, the court concluded that the refund could not have related to the Miami flights but possibly to some other business trip personally cancelled by Mr Tranter himself.

As for the third episode regarding the payment for two nights’ accommodation at the London Hilton for the chairman’s personal assistant, the court concluded that this expense had been legitimate since the assistant had been asked to perform corporation work relative to the London International Petroleum Week.

Another instance of alleged misappropriation concerned a Sony Vario Laptop, purchased from the US by Mr Tranter for Lm1035 and retained after his termination of tenure.

However, the court once again observed that not only had the device not been listed on the corporation’s Fixed Assets Register but Enemalta’s CFO had testified about a corporation policy allowing both the chairman and CEO to retain their laptops beyond their tenure of office.

As for the allegation that Mr Tranter had paid traffic fines out of public funds, the court observed that the prosecution had put forward no evidence as to who had actually committed the contraventions while at the wheel of corporation-registered vehicles, which were regularly driven not only by Mr Tranter but also by senior managers and as well as a chauffeur.

Upon the basis of all evidence put forward, the court declared that the prosecution had not proved any of the accusations, thereby clearing Mr Tranter of all alleged wrongdoing.

Advert
Advert