Electrogas director Paul Apap Bologna this afternoon refused to respond to questions put to him by members of Parliament’s public accounts committee about his offshore company.
The committee is currently discussing an auditor general report into the Electrogas deal, which has been linked to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, given the suspected involvement of former director and shareholder in the project, Yorgen Fenech.
Apap Bologna was recently revealed to be the ultimate beneficial owner of a Dubai-based company called Kittiwake. The company has been described as identical to Fenech’s 17 Black, with the two having been incorporated within two months of each other, in the same jurisdiction back in 2015.
The sitting was dominated by bickering between the government and Opposition members of the committee, as well as between Opposition members and Gianella De Marco – Apap Bologna’s lawyer – over procedural matters.
At the beginning of the sitting Apap Bologna was asked for documentation he had promised to provide the committee with, however, it was quickly pointed out that the documents presented weren’t what had been requested.
During last week’s sitting, Apap Bologna told the committee that a decision had been taken for Fenech to hold 10% of the shares in the Maltese consortium in the project after a discussion with his father, the late George Fenech. However, Apap Bologna changed his story today, saying that he had been mistaken last week.
He said that Fenech had in fact had a 10% stake in the consortium from the start, and the shares weren’t actually transferred to him later down the line. He said that this had been decided because Fenech had taken a lead in the project.
Apap Bologna also clarified that there had been a dilution of shares in the consortium twice, in both cases, he said that the reason was that he wanted to reduce his exposure, with the shares going to Tumas Energy and Gasan Enterprises.
The committee asked Apap Bologna whether it was the case that he had lied to it during last week’s sitting, or whether he was lying during today’s sitting. He was also pressed on why a decision had been taken for Fenech to hold 10% equity in GEM in his own personal capacity, rather than having the shares transferred to Tumas Energy.
Apap Bologna corrected the committee, pointing out that Fenech was not given the shares, but rather, had purchased them. The committee wasn’t satisfied, continuing to press him on why Fenech needed to hold shares in the company in his personal capacity. He promised to present the board with an agreement showing this.
The sitting became quite heated at a point, with committee chair Beppe Fenech Adami declaring that had the power station deal not gone through, Daphne Caruana Galizia would still be alive.
Government MPs insisted that the comment be minuted, arguing that Fenech Adami had violated Apap Bologna’s rights.
What do you make of Apap Bologna’s reply?