Nationalist MEP candidate Frank Psaila has moved to deny suggestions he is benefitting from funding by the Tumas Group, whose CEO Yorgen Fenech has been named as the owner of the secret Dubai company 17 Black.
Blogger-activist Manuel Delia recently published a photo of the credits of Psaila’s NET TV discussion programme Iswed fuq l-Abjad, which listed the Tumas Group as one of its sponsors.
“Few images can better represent the manifest dependence political parties have on big business here,” Delia wrote. “Embarrassment and association with corruption is a small price to pay just to keep the show going on. How can the Nationalist Party combat corruption if it depends on the corrupt to function?”
However, Psaila said that his show’s advertising schedule with Tumas Group expired in October 2018, a month before it was revealed that Fenech was CEO of 17 Black.
PN logistics guru Michael Fenech Adami
He told Lovin Malta that he had forgotten to update the credits at the end of the show, which is why Tumas, as well as other businesses, still appear as sponsors of his show.
He added that the credits still list Michael Fenech Adami as his ‘logistics of programme’, a role that involved sourcing adverts. Fenech Adami stopped working with Iswed fuq l-Abjad in 2017 and is currently involved in the logistics of PN MEP David Casa’s re-election campaign.
The show’s current advertisers, he said, are promoted during the discussion show’s commercial break.
“For the record, the last time I assisted in the operations of this programme was over two years ago,” Fenech Adami said. “I fail to understand why my past involvement has any relevance whatsoever to the topic under discussion today.”
The Nationalist Party was recently thrown into a spot of turmoil after it was revealed that MPs Kristy Debono and Hermann Schiavone had personally met up with Yorgen Fenech to ask him to sponsor a room for a political event. Schiavone ended up suspending himself from the PN parliamentary group, arguing that although he did nothing wrong, he felt he should shoulder political responsibility pending an internal inquiry into his behaviour.
“Schiavone made a responsible move in suspending himself,” Psaila said of the incident. “Meanwhile, Konrad Mizzi actually opened a Panama company, got promoted and now wants to become leader of the Labour Party. I’d say the parties’ measuring scales are a bit different.”