The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

PL says it is not receiving money from Yorgen Fenech after reports tie party to one of his companies

Monday, 6 September 2021, 12:47 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Labour Party on Monday said that it is not receiving money from Yorgen Fenech, after reports emerged tying a company related to the party to a €200,000 draft consultancy with the 17 Black owner and alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind.

In a statement, the party said that it is not receiving any money from Yorgen Fenech, and certainly isn’t receiving €200,000 from him as they said that the Nationalist Party had alleged.

The statement came after the Times of Malta reported that Fenech was sent a draft 33-month “consultancy” agreement in May 2016 – prior to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and prior to Fenech becoming known as the owner of 17 Black – by the then Labour CEO Gino Cauchi on behalf of a company called B.E.D Limited.

The company at the time, the report continues, had no visible links to the Labour Party, but the agreement sent to Fenech was drafted on a computer used by an executive of Labour media arm ONE Productions.

The agreement would have seen Fenech paying B.E.D Limited a flat rate of €6,000 per month to act as consultants for Tumas Group on matters such as marketing, research, digital graphics, and audio-visual productions.

The report says that it’s not known whether the agreement was signed and enacted, but cites awareness of at least two invoices sent by B.E.D to Fenech in 2018.

Yorgen Fenech’s uncle, Ray Fenech, who is a director of Tumas Group, told the Times of Malta that the agreement was not recognised but that B.E.D Limited was used by the group for PR, design, and branding amongst other things.

He did not entertain suggestions that the agreement was an attempt to fund the Labour Party without going through party financing laws.

The Nationalist Party on Monday morning labelled that Labour Party as “best practice” for money laundering in reaction to the story, and said that the Labour Party is receiving €200,000 from Yorgen Fenech, which shows that they are above the law.

The PN said that this is contrary to what was recommended by judges in the public inquiry, and questioned again whether it would be the current Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis “who was taking instructions from Yorgen Fenech during a debate about 17 Black” who will ensure that these recommendations are implemented.

The party also referred to Malta’s greylisting by the FATF, and accused the Labour Party of laundering money itself while mentioning a raft of other corruption cases from the past eight years.

The PN said that it would be considering any action that it can take, including legally and in Parliament.

In response, the Labour Party said that it is not receiving any money from Yorgen Fenech, not least the €200,000 which the PN alleged that it was receiving, saying that this is a subject which the PN has no credibility to speak about.

“This lack of credibility emerges from what the same media house which belonged to the person who today is the PN’s strategist [a reference to Christian Peregin’s Lovin Malta], which multiple times reported about who went to beg for money from these same people,” the PL said.

This is a reference to stories run by the media house about alleged ties between former PN leader Adrian Delia, Pierre Portelli and Fenech.

“While the PN says and alleges a lot of other baseless things, the same party never gave an explanation as to why its leader offered a pardon to the alleged mastermind behind Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder [Yorgen Fenech] on more than one occasion,” the party said.

“It would be better of Bernard Grech answers this question instead of inventing things about others,” the PL concluded.

In another response, the PN said that the PL's denial meant nothing.

"Just like they denied opening secret companies in Panama just after getting elected in 2013, the Labour Party today denied that it is receiving money from Yorgen Fenech," the PN said.

"But crucially the Labour Party did not deny that it designed a system to receive €200,000 from Yorgen Fenech, after giving him a power station in a corrupt deal that leaves consumers worse off. Exponents of the Labour Party have often claimed to barely know Yorgen Fenech, but time and time again they have found to have been been lying. In fact, they were in bed with him," the party said.

The PN said that their denial means nothing and that their attempt to deflect the story onto the PN "is pathetic at best."

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