The Labour Party has denied receiving €200,000 in consultancy fees from Yorgen Fenech’s Tumas Group, following media reports this morning.
The statement denied that any funds had been received by the party, though it did not mention plans for this to happen.
The Times of Malta reported this morning that Fenech had been sent a draft agreement by former Labour Party CEO Gino Cauchi, that would see the Tumas Group pay the company B.E.D limited a consultancy fee of €6,000-a-month.
Responding to questions from the paper, Cauchi said he was not at liberty to respond to questions about whether the funds were intended for ONE Productions – the Labour Party’s media wing.
“The Labour Party is not receiving any money from Yorgen Fenech, and definitely not €200,000, as is being alleged by the Nationalist Party about a subject it has no credibility to be talking about,” the party said in a statement.
This lack of credibility, it said, emanated from that revealed by “the media company of the person who is today their strategist, which spoke out on a number of occasions about who had begged for money from the same people”.
The statement appears to be a reference to Lovin Malta and the stories it had published about allegations that former Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia had solicited “donations” from Fenech. Delia has categorically denied the allegations.
“While the PN makes many baseless allegations in its statement, it has offered no explanation about why its leader has offered a pardon to the alleged mastermind in the Caruana Galizia assassination,” Labour said.
Labour Party best practice for money laundering
Reacting to the Times’ story, the Nationalist Party issued a statement saying that the story showed that the Labour Party is “effectively above the law and can be considered a best practice for those who want to launder illicitly gained funds and to hide monies passing from commercial or criminal interests to politicians”.
The PN said that this sort of relationship was exactly the opposite of what the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia said the relationship between politics and business should be like.
The PN said that the revelation comes as a slap in the face to businesses at a time when many were facing difficulties as a result of the country’s greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force.
It questioned how the country was expected to be removed from the grey list when the party in government had been revealed to have planned to receive a €200,000 payment under the radar.
The PN said it was considering all possible legal action as well as actions in Parliament as a result of the report.
In a subsequent reaction, the PN noted that the Labour Party had not denied plans to receive funds from Fenech.
“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.
“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,” the PN said.
Furthermore, it said that while exponents of the Labour Party have often claimed to barely know Yorgen Fenech, they have time and time again found to be lying.
“In fact, they were in bed with him,” the party said. “Once again, their denial means nothing and their attempt to deflect this to the Nationalist Party is pathetic at best.”
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