The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

‘Don’t blame the victim’, Edward Scicluna says on Montenegro wind-farm scandal

Albert Galea Friday, 26 June 2020, 13:11 Last update: about 2 months ago

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said that he was “disgusted” by the Montenegro wind-farm scandal, and insisted that the most important thing was how the government reacted when new facts emerged.

Scicluna was asked about the scandal surrounding the Enemalta purchase of a Montenegrin wind-farm project. Last week, Times of Malta and Reuters reported that 17 Black - the Dubai company belonging to Yorgen Fenech - made a profit of €4.6 million from Enemalta's purchase of the windfarm project. The project was first acquired, for €2.9 million, by Seychelles-based company Cifidex, which sold it to Enemalta for €10.3 million a few weeks later.

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“There should be an investigation, as there already is, into whether there was inside information, blatant abuse, corruption and so on so forth”, Scicluna told journalists.

“I am as interested as you for these things not to happen. What I can say is that you read them in the papers, you don’t like them – you get disgusted by them – but they’re not under yourself to take action, which is why there are other institutions to investigate them”, the Finance Minister said.

Scicluna’s feeling of disgust echoes that of Prime Minister Robert Abela – who also expressed his disgust at the scandal.

“If you have a house and somebody comes at night and steals something, you might discover a year later that you have something missing. One should not dramatise the situation. These things happen. What counts is the action you take once you find out”, Scicluna said when pushed further.

“You can’t blame the victim because a robber has been to his house and stolen from it.  What is important is that once you discover things, you take action, report, and investigate the case”, Scicluna said.

When it was observed that the Panama Papers scandal had emerged as far back as 2016, Scicluna said that he had made his views clear back then.

“You’re talking about political responsibility and what action certain people and MPs should have taken; I expressed my opinion in Cabinet, in the parliamentary group and with both the previous and current Prime Minister – that’s all I want to say”, he said.

Scicluna walked away before saying what those views were.

 

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