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Watch our summary of today’s proceedings by clicking here.

You can also read our full live blog by clicking here.

EN translation of the summary clip:

I think we’re all just about fed up of all those videos featuring ministers cutting ribbons for every half-nothing that gets inaugurated.

Not content with just occupying news portals with propaganda about every single government initiative, they also occupy our physical spaces – every half a sidewalk that gets renovated usually gets a plaque to accompany it.

So, explain this one then – how are you so ready to take credit for every tiny initiative only to then suddenly suffer from amnesia the minute you are held accountable for your actions?

 I began this video with that introduction because, yet again, in the case of the Republic of Malta v disgraced former health minister Chris Fearne and his former associates and colleagues, we heard testimonies from individuals who were supposed to be in charge of the hospitals concession tender but somehow seem to convenietly forget most things about the process itself.

 Bear in mind that a lot of these witnesses who were in some way involved in this concession were already subject to other investigations and judicial processes related to this case. In other words, this is not the first time they’ve sat for this particular exam.

Apart from all that, there are plenty of international investigations which documented the corruption surrounding the deal in minute detail. We can safely say that there are no obstacles when it comes to refreshing one’s memory when testifying about this.

In spite of this, members of the committees which were responsible for processing this tender were not able to answer basic questions about whether they were present for all the meetings they were supposed to attend, who was responsible for which committee, and even who had the last word about the evaluation of the companies who submitted their bids.

Particularly, the testimony of the owner of Beat Ltd, David Galea – we mentioned him yesterday as one of the legal consultants subcontracted by the government to assist with the concession and an intimate friend of Konrad Mizzi – did not yield any clear responses about who was responsible for the evaluation process.

Besides the representatives of these committees, we also heard from former Projects Malta CEO William Wait and two representatives from PriceWaterHouseCoopers, better known as PWC.

Wait also absolved himself of any responsibility for the deal, telling the court that he had no direct involvement in the concession’s day-to-day administration and that Projects Malta was only involved in an administrative capacity. Wait didn’t even ask the representatives who attended committee meetings on behalf of Projects Malta to update him about what was going on in these meetings.

Wait did say one interesting thing, though – the fact that all the decisions that were taken in relation to this project were subject to the final approval of disgraced former health minister Konrad Mizzi and the Cabinet of ministers which he formed a part of. His permanent secretary Ronald Mizzi was the one who appointed individuals on these committees.

PWC’s representatives explained how they were first involved in this concession as external consultants hired by Bluestone Special Solutions, the company that effectively owned VGH’s Malta-registered companies. Bluestone approached them to assist with their application for the tender.

In spite of the fact that Ram Tumuluri’s name was already associated with fraudulent behaviour by 2014, these representatives insisted that they had no information at the time which gave any indication that there was something to worry about.

We’ll get to know more about this tomorrow, where among many other witnesses, we will likely be hearing from the PWC representative who was specifically tasked with carrying out PWC’s risk assessment about VGH’s investors.

See you tomorrow.

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