David Thake asks Pierre Portelli about those messages from the Prime Minister

Published: January 10, 2017 at 4:01pm

Here’s the background to this conversation on radio between David Thake of Switch Radio and Pierre Portelli of The Malta Independent.




  • Godfrey Leone Ganado

    Egrant Inc seems to be closing in on him. All he has to do, so far, is deny publicly that he and his wife have no interest in this company.

    Mrs Muscat can even play her part at this stage by saying that she is unaware of any involvement in the company.

    • Evarist Saliba

      Joseph Muscat did say in parliament, “Jien m’ghandix kumpanija fil-Panama”. So what? Are we to believe him, when he also said on TV that sometimes (read “when convenient”) a politician will have to say the truth?

      Let us face it. The Panama Papers have been thoroughly exposed. We have seen evidence of a number of big black plastic bags containing shredded documents from Nexia BT office being taken away in a van that belongs to a company owned by Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, who had been helped by Nexia BT to open the secret company in Panama as soon as he took office.

      Joseph Muscat must feel confident that as long as Nexia BT keeps mum, quoting client confidentiality, no more details will come out, at least not before the next election.

      Do not expect Joseph Muscat to add anything to the little he has already said about the secret Panama companies established by Nexia BT on behalf of Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri and Egrant, from the hospitality provided in his own office in Auberge de Castille.

      • H.P. Baxxter

        EGRANT INC IS A DIVERSION.

  • Rosie

    I find Pierre Portelli’s statement that he omitted part of the SMS exchange out of respect towards the Prime Minister most disconcerting.

  • ghj

    ‘Might’, as you correctly said. The economy, probably the primary voting priority, might also save him.

  • Tumnus

    After hearing the above interview, all I can say is, “Give me Thake over Portelli any day”.

  • thealley

    I cringe at the fact that no journalist has ever bothered to ask the Prime Minister if he ever asked, as was his obligation, Karl Cini to disclose the owner of the third company. That’s the only way any reference or question on Egrant should be put to him. Other questions should then form out according to his reply, but not before it.

    • The Prime Minister is no more empowered to ask an accountant to disclose client information than the rest of us are.

      The question itself would be seriously abusive. I would object to the Prime Minister asking anything like that.

  • Antonio Micallef

    He has already a legally set up one broadcasting on DAB+

  • Chris

    I think you are being a tad unfair to Pierre Portelli.

    He was merely explaining the background and his view on why the Prime Minister refused to be interviewed. He was not trying to justify it but merely explain the mindset.

    As to David Thake, I agree he’s sharp, but he loses me when he goes on to create conspiracy theories around Malta’s elections.

    I would have been much happier if he stuck to asking where the money for one of the most expensive election campaigns came from and how a supposedly bankrupt party paid for it.

  • Chris

    Thake already has a station. Yes it’s on digital radio and not FM. But it is also on Soundcloud which is probably the best way to distribute in the digital age.

    Daphne’s posting of his interviews on her blog is the cheapest and far more effective way of distributing. Save your money, start posting links on Facebook

  • Chris

    Here’s another question: what if Joseph Muscat knows where the money is going, is that not relevant?

  • Tabatha_White

    I’m not angry with you at all. I’m perfectly in agreement with your comment on servility.

  • Evarist Saliba

    That is why the audit on Konrad Mizzi’s secret company in Panama is a red herring. The relevant facts that damn the Minister, Keith Schembri and Egrant are known and backed by evidence.

    1. The secret companies in Panama were set up as soon as these people came to office after the election.

    2. Nexia BT which was entrusted to set this up this web were given a desk at the Office of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister cannot claim that he did not know what they were doing.

    3. The frantic efforts made to establish bank accounts to populate these companies clearly show that these monies were not coming from the salaries attached to the offices they held. In fact other sources were quoted, and we know that these were spurious.

    4. These facts are enough to justify their resignation.

    5. The fact that these persons were involved in signing contracts involving huge sums of money, and the contracts have been kept secret, or were reluctantly published but heavily edited, seen against the background and timing of the setting up of the secret companies, give rise to justified suspicions of corruption.

    A Prime Minister and his intimate collaborators, whom he defends and demands that his parliamentary group do likewise, should not be involved in such shady dealings.

  • Tabatha_White

    When Baxxter said radio station, I imagined from his word construction that he had more in mind than a single programme by Thake.

    In terms of focus there is a definition of objective. Objectives need to be redefined from time to time with qualifiers becoming more precise as the situation evolves. I

    If a rule is outdated – similar to what Daphne maintained re election eve postings in this age of open media, then that rule needs to be scrapped or redefined. Do you keep and wear your jeans or sweaters from the 1980s just because they were the thing to be in then?

    The focus is winning those elections, not whose feelings, internally, are upset because their fragile egos can’t handle that there is a person amongst them with a recognised and acclaimed area of excellence.

    • D. Buhagiar

      I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories but I think we would be naive to think that the Nationalist Party’s official reason is the real reason one.

      Here we’re not talking about an oversight that may cost a few hundred votes, but about a strategic decision that may cost thousands of votes, and possibly even the election itself.

      I don’t think that those at the helm can’t see what we are all seeing. So there must be some other reason.

  • Tabatha_White

    And then there’s the matter of captive audience, which I haven’t yet begun on. But yes, it it important that people listen to David Thake in their cars at rush hour. And if possible in the morning too.

    If there is a message to be communicated, rush and peak hours shouldn’t be wasted, carelessly, on zenning out. Ghax inkella B to Z jiehu ghalih. Ma jkunx fair. Ridiculous.

    This Government isn’t fair, that’s what. A sense of perspective is primordial.