Chris Cardona has earlier this week been interviewed by Ivan Martin of The Times. I do not know if he paid for the interview as it is clear that the newspaper is trying to give the corrupt Deputy Leader of the Labour Party a helping hand. Now if there is a person in Malta who should not be believed that would be Christian Cardona, ex-Minister for the Economy during Joseph Muscat’s corrupt administration.
Chris Cardona has been caught lying a thousand and one times. He is not credible. Not one iota.
When speaking about Daphne Caruana Galizia, Chris Cardona said that “she went on a tangent and did not write only what could be verified and what could be substantiated and she hurt a lot of people.”
Well, she certainly hurt his aide Mario Azzopardi who had secured a great job for his nephew, a Mr Cutajar, an inexperienced young man, barely 18, who was made director, company secretary and judicial representative of Fort Security Services Ltd, a state-owned company incorporated by the Ministry for the Economy. The company had to be responsible for security guards at all public buildings. Daphne wrote about it in her Running Commentary and Chris Cardona had to retract everything.
While on an official visit to Dubai, Chris Cardona was accompanied by his private secretary Dana Farrugia (formerly Bonnici), and Mario Azzopardi, a close friend of Cardona’s and his business partners in a building development company. During the visit Cardona and friends ran a €700 drinks bill in one night. Cardona’s reaction was that “drinks in Dubai are expensive.”
In 2015, Chris Cardona made a solo trip to Monaco, during the weekend of the Grand Prix. The hotel in which the Minister stayed charged nearly €2,700 a night. Cardona claimed €2,000 to cover ‘extras’ at the hotel.
Unfortunately, all the documents related to the visit ‘were misplaced’ by the Ministry. The Times sent questions to the Ministry in terms of the Freedom of Information Act, to ask for the programme of the one-day visit, the hotel’s invoice and a copy of the transfer of money for the minister’s accommodation. The Auditor General in his report about the case noted that “the NAO could not identify the reason for these claimed expenses,” neither the Data Protection Commissioner was able to get his hands on the documents because according to the Ministry “it does not possess such documentation.”
Now for the big one.
The “ħaqq’alla kemm hu kiesaħ” famous visit by Chris Cardona and his assistant Joe Gerada to the FKK Acapulco brothel in Verbert, Germany while they were on government business. Again, Daphne Caruana Galizia published the story. Chris Cardona denied and filed for libel.
A spokesperson for the Ministry told The Malta Independent that “although the allegations made about him are baseless, the Minister is ready to substantiate his statements by means of concrete evidence. All the necessary evidence will be produced in Court during libel proceedings.” Cardona served Caruana Galizia with a garnishee order amounting to €46,000, freezing her bank accounts.
The Court accepted Daphne’s request to keep the data from his mobile phone which through triangulation could indicate precisely where he was during a particular time. That hit all the buttons. Chris Cardona stopped appearing in Court for the libel sessions until the court dropped the case as Cardona had abandoned it. Cardona had the best opportunity to show that Daphne was a liar and he was never near FKK Acapulco. But he ceded the libel.
Now the most recent misadventure of Chris Cardona and the Degiorgio brothers. “I had known them through my profession. I am a lawyer”. And about Degiorgio’s daughter who worked at the Ministry “I have knowledge because it was reported”. You know, Ministers employ people within their ministries but do not check on them.
“This is false. My number was never found in a burner phone or dumped in the sea.” Sure, not your mobile but a burner one. Melvin Theuma said, under oath, that he was told that €350,000 were passed to Degiorgio through a third person, Toni il-Biglee. “I probably met him at court, as an officer, as a policeman. We got along because he supports Liverpool, so do I. He started to come to my office, to accompany me in public spaces. He became my canvasser, a friend. He’s a close friend.”
About Keith Schembri the ex-Minister for the Economy said “I think we were at university together. I started working closely with Keith while preparing the electoral manifesto.” About the famous letter that Yorgen Fenech told the police that he received a note he received from Keith Schembri, saying that Chris Cardona was involved, Chris Cardona replied candidly “How can you prove that? I believe what is proved. How can I believe something which till now has no substantial evidence supporting it? There is no proof that Keith wrote that letter.”
“With Keith Schembri I discussed Daphne Caruana Galizia a number of times. I mean she was one of the most vociferous opponents of our government. So she was, yes, one of the people who had to be watched. But she was one of the harshest critics I ever had but she was not a thorn in my side, in anybody’s side, she was a pillar of democracy.”
One last thing. The interview by Ivan was all about Chris Cardona. Yet for some strange reason the title of the interview ran “Chris Cardona: ‘I don’t think Keith Schembri would go that far’ on Daphne murder.”