Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando challenged about his underhand deal on Mistra by his party bosses: “I feel unwell.”

Published: August 14, 2013 at 2:35pm
Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando giving a testimonial, during the last general election, for Michael Farrugia, who is now responsible for MEPA

Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando giving a testimonial, during the last general election, for Michael Farrugia, who is now responsible for MEPA

This is the transcript of a telephone conversation between Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Gordon Pisani, then Nationalist Party information officer, which took place immediately after the TVM debate between party leaders Lawrence Gonzi and Alfred Sant, in which Sant alluded to a shady contract which Pullicino Orlando had for his land at Mistra.

This transcript was read out during the ensuing party executive hearing and reproduced on the party website Malta Right Now.

GP: Jeffrey, int għandek kuntratt dwar il-kirja tal-Mistra.

JPO: Għaliex?

GP: Alfred Sant għadu kemm wera fuq it-television il-kuntratt li għandek dwar il-Mistra. Int għandek kuntratt.

JPO: Qed ihossni ħażin.

GP: Aqbad u ejja l-istamperija issa u ġib kopja tal-kuntratt u għaddih lil Joe Saliba. Din ġdida.

JPO: Qed iħossni ħażin. Ma niflaħx.

GP: Ma jinteressanix. Ara f’hiex daħħalt lill-Partit. Ejja issa.

JPO: Ma niflaħx niġi.

GP: Se nibgħatlek messaġġier biex jiġi għalik id-dar.

JPO: Ma niflaħx niġi.

GP: Il-kuntratt li għandek ta’ mijiet, eluf…?

JPO: Mhux aħjar ma tkunx taf.

GP: Għexieren ta’ eluf?

JPO: Ammonti kbar.

GP: Jimbarazza lill-Partit?

JPO: Ma niflaħx.

GP: Jeffrey, se nibgħat messaġġier għalik, biex iġibek l-istamperija u ġib kopja tal-kuntratt miegħek. Daħħaltna fi problema. Il- messaġġier ġej għalik id-dar issa.


In his testimony, Gordon Pisani described how the party’s messenger-driver went to Pullicino Orlando’s house but he failed to open the door or wasn’t there.

The messenger-driver then phoned Pisani and explained the situation. Pisani rang Pullicino Orlando repeatedly with no answer. He kept ringing until Pullicino Orlando picked up at last.

GP: Jeffrey, ġie l-messaġġier għalik u ma ftaħtlux.

JPO: Se nara jekk insibx lift ma’ xi ħadd.

GP: Il-Partit qiegħed jikkrolla. Ejja issa.

Pisani then described how Pullicino Orlando turned up at the Nationalist Party HQ around half an hour after this second telephone call, accompanied by his lawyer Alex Perici Calascione, and met Pisani and PN secretary-general Joe Saliba.

Pullicino Orlando told them that he had looked for the contract “all over the house but couldn’t find it because he couldn’t remember where he had put it”. He said that he had entered into this contract for the development of his Mistra land into a nightclub so that he would have a good income.

He then said that he wanted to go back home to carry on looking for the contract. He left with his lawyer, and they returned in less than 15 minutes with the contract.

(Pullicino Orlando lives in Haz-Zebbug. The PN HQ is in Pieta. It takes more than 15 minutes just to drive from Pieta to Haz-Zebbug, let alone to search for the contract and then drive back.)

24 Comments Comment

  1. Harry Worth says:

    I am lost for words …

  2. H.P. Baxxter says:

    Jimbarazza lill-Partit, il-Partit qed jikkrolla.

    Yet they still kept him on the party ticket and made him chairman of a state entity. And they say Lawrence Gonzi was a great statesman.

    They should have kicked Pullicino Orlando out the day after the election. What would he have done? He was still Labour Public Enemy No. 1, and arch-nemesis Alfred Sant was still Labour leader. So it would have been the right moment to jettison the scum. But they kept him. For five years they kept him.

    From then on it was downhill all the way.

    [Daphne – They couldn’t kick him out of the party without losing their majority in parliament, which would have meant another election having to be called immediately. I sometimes think that might have been preferable than what the country had to endure at the hands of this sociopathic individual, and it would also have meant that in the last five years Sant would have been prime minister, laying waste to Labour’s prospects of re-election for another quarter-century. But then again, it would probably have been ruinous for the economy.]

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      It would have been a gamble. But let’s put it this way: were the chances of a PN victory in June 2008 higher than the chances of a PN victory in March 2013?

      I would say they were.

      You know, someone still has to write a proper post-defeat report for the PN, and they can just shred the piss-poor report published two months ago.

      Because if we follow your argument (and a very good one it is) that the 2008 election was a coin toss, then the point of inflexion, as the boffins call it, came earlier. Possibly around 2004. Possibly just after EU membership. When Alfred Sant was still Labour leader. When the country’s mood was buoyant.

      In that case, we have a phenomenon which requires an explanation way deeper than “il-kontijiet tad-dawl u l-ilma u l-onorarja”.

      • Alfred Bugeja says:

        Had Sant won the election in 2008, Malta would have been just another Eurozone economy with a pseudo-socialist government struggling to make ends meet and stop society from imploding. By this time we would have had a fresh Nationalist government and things would have been on the mend, just like they are in the rest of the Eurozone. Instead we’re bucking the trend.

        What strikes me most in the 2008 Mistra saga was that JPO never faced the music for what he did. there is little doubt that the way the MEPA permit was granted irregularly, yet only the smaller fry paid the price. Those who could have benefited from the permit (JPO) got out of the mess clean. I doubt the police ever investigated them properly, or else they had orders from above not to proceed against them.

        Had JPO been arraigned over Mistra, he would have had to give up his seat in Parliament. One less problem for Gonzi.

    • Jar Jar says:

      The PN should have made him resign his seat ‘for personal reasons’ and call a bye election.
      But there were still some who supported JPO – like you, Daphne!

      [Daphne – Unlike you and some others, I had an accurate psychological reading of Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando by the time things reached that stage: that pushing him to resign would ensure that he didn’t, and that it would in fact unbalance him emotionally and psychiatrically to have that kind of public rejection piled upon him, in which he felt that everybody was against him. He was similarly unbalanced, by some accounts, by his first wife’s public rejection of him. I did not know him at the time, but I do know – because I have been at the receiving end of his raging diatribes – that he still speaks about her with venom and has had virtually no communication with her over the last 13 years or so, despite their having three children together. That should give you some idea of how determined and virulent his tendency to bear a grudge is. Pullicino Orlando knows that I regard him with utter contempt. I told him so to his face. He does not need to read this website to find out.]

      • Jar Jar says:

        What better reason can you have than that he was mentally unbalanced by the whole affair.

        Another thought – maybe Dr Gonzi should have kicked him out before the 2008 election, very much as Joey the Young did with whoever came between him and victory in 2013.

        [Daphne – Well, they should have kicked Robert Musumeci out, too, when they discovered he was having a ‘secret’ affair with a married woman while still living with his wife, and that the woman in question is diehard Labour and the sister of a leading Labour politician. But they didn’t, because he was on the party list already. So with that flawed reasoning, they presented to the electorate a double-adulterer posing as a family man, who was literally in bed with Labour. And then they wondered why they got what was coming to them.]

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        But see what Alfred Bugeja wrote above.

        If an MP is taken to court over a corruption charge, does he or she have to give up their seat in parliament? In that case, would there be a by-election?

        It would have been the most elegant of solutions. Boris Spassky, what?

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        “And then they wondered why they got what was coming to them.”

        That phrase should be engraved in gold lettering on granite over the main doorway at the PN headquarters building.

    • Alexander Ball says:

      Silly question but was the speaker in the last parliament a PN MP?

      If so then they could have brought an non-MP in as speaker and kept a majority.

  3. Gordon says:

    He should have looked for that contract in his orange jeans. He never seems to forget where he put those.

  4. Socrates says:

    This is horrendous. What a shameless snake. He always puts himself over and above everyone and ignores moral decency.

  5. charon says:

    Baxxter, Daphne is right. Whichever way you look at it Lawrence Gonzi couldn’t do anything. Gonzi had only a one-seat majority, Jeffrey knew it and made sure to profit from that fact to the full.

  6. Markus says:

    MEPA is currently ‘updating’ its policies with regards to Out Of Development Zone applications.

    I am pretty sure that the MISTRA site would be eligible under a new type of permissible development and which is agro-tourism. That way, JPO will have his desired building footprint.

    And then…. what’s wrong with organizing parties in an agro-tourism site? Wait for it.

  7. Edgar says:

    I fully agree with Baxxter. This scum should have been kicked out immediately after the elections come what may. In fact in hindsight, that was the only way out

    • Angus Black says:

      Running a country in a responsible manner never involves taking unnecessary risks.

      Dr Gonzi knew what lay ahead of him for the following five years but he also figured out that taking the risk of another Sant administration (had he kicked JPO out) would have been fatal for the Maltese economy. Dr Gonzi chose the hard way forward and was proven right.

  8. It is futile to discuss what would have happened had the NP done this or that.

    What is important is to see what JPO stands for.

    He knew that his credibility was lost, and he set out to destroy others, especially those within the party who were not taken in by his public crocodile tears.

    He also took the opportunity to introduce divorce to suit, first and foremost, himself…..and others.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      It is not futile at all, because many Nationalists are still in “kemm kien kbir Gonzi u kemm hu irreplaceable” mode.

      In hindsight, we realise Gonzi wasn’t all he was cranked up to be.

      And that puts Simon Busuttil in quite another light.

  9. Corvo Attano says:

    I sometimes get the awkward feeling that JPO was never a Nationalist but in reality a Labour Trojan horse all the way. I mean, what did he ever do for the benefit of PN?

  10. Joe Micallef says:

    Gives me the creeps! Too bad this country needed a PN government to lead it through the world financial catastrophe.

    Had the PN lost, the moron would have been ostracised for the mutiny and held by all for what he really is. I bet not even the PL would not have picked him up for their skip.

  11. L Gatt says:

    Gonzi was never a great leader. Did he have vision for Malta? Yes. For the Nationalust Party? NO.

    I am pretty sure that Eddie Fenech Adami would have called their bluff. I have seen both PN leaders at work. No comparison.

    My hope is that Simon Busuttil (who gives me the feeling that he is a genuine and sincere no-frills man) could grow up to be more like Fenech Adami and less like Gonzi. However he needs a very strong solid team around him to help him plan a winning strategy.

    If they play it right, a Nationalist Party victory in five years is not impossibile.

    Muscat’s government has been a disaster on all fronts so far, and its future is bleak. A government of “nani e burattini” as they say in Italy. A circus announced by billboards.

    Even their people are baffled by these appointments which are surely neither winnig the Labour Party votes nor helping them retain the one the got last time round.

    • Jozef says:

      Simon will be more like himself.

      The worst to do is a repeat of Labour’s Mintoff/Sant analogy. Even because the PN doesn’t have to.

  12. Dez says:

    Pulcinell bil-provi. Kien u ghadu.

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