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Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna Will Face Parliamentary Committee On Electrogas At 2pm

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Brian Tonna, the controversial former managing director of Nexia BT, will face the public accounts committee at 2pm today. 

Tonna is currently out on bail after being charged with a litany of offences connected to two magisterial inquiries. 

The first magisterial inquiry was into the allegation that Tonna had transferred €100,000 in kickbacks from the sale of Maltese passports to former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri. The second investigation centred around €650,000 transferred from Schembri to former Allied Group managing partner Adrian Hillman.

However, he is also deeply entrenched in the Panama Papers scandal, having been the one to help set up the offshore companies of Konrad Mizzi, Schembri. Having set up the Egrant account, he is also one out of two individuals who know for sure the mysterious identity of its owner.

Today’s committee meeting will focus on the examination of the Auditor General’s report entitled “An Investigation of Matters Relating to the Contracts awarded to ElectroGas Malta Ltd. by Enemalta Corporation’.

The NAO was highly critical of the project, including its evaluation, due diligence, as well as the “risky” and “unprecedented” State guarantee of €360 million given to Electrogas.

A freedom of information request by the Times of Malta revealed that Tonna sat on the Enemalta selection committee, along with three other staff members from the same financial services firm.

The project is also linked to the Panama Papers through Yorgen Fenech. Fenech, who has been charged in connection to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, is a shareholder at Electorgas and was a former director that was instrumental in the company. 

According to one e-mail found in the Panama Papers, Schembri and Mizzi were set to receive payments of up to $2 million from 17 Black, the UAE company owned by Fenech.

The project has even been linked to the murder itself, with Matthew Caruana Galizia saying it was the motive behind the murder. At the time, Caruana Galizia had stumbled on a treasure trove of documents from the company, which was also struggling financially at the time.

Tonna is expected to face a stern grilling. However, it is unclear how much he will answer given the pending charges against him.

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Julian doesn’t like to talk about himself. But if he did, he would let you know that he’s into anything that has got to do with politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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