David Gonzi: statement released to the press this morning

Published: July 29, 2015 at 10:53am

David Gonzi

Press Statement issued by Dr David Gonzi
29th July 2015

With reference to today’s report in some sections of the media mentioning my name in connection with the investigations being carried out by the Italian authorities, I would like to reiterate the following.

1. I am a one-third shareholder in GVM Limited. On the 2nd of December 2014 I was appointed as the third director of the company. This company is fully licensed to operate as a fiduciary company in terms of the Trusts and Trustees Act. This means that although the name of the ultimate beneficial owner of a client company is not known to the public, the full details of all the beneficiaries are available upon request to the Maltese authorities However, in the case of gaming companies, all these details must be disclosed to the Malta Gaming Authority before a licence is issued.

2. In addition, in all cases of companies that have a gaming licence, the Maltese authorities carry out extensive and rigorous due diligence processes to verify that the ultimate beneficiaries are of good standing. In the case of all such GVM clients, including the ones being investigated, the Maltese Gaming Authority and the company’s Banks successfully completed this due diligence process.

3. GVM itself carried out its own due diligence process to ascertain that the individuals concerned were of good standing. This was done by requesting certified copies of the ultimate shareholders’ passports, proof of residential address, as well as copies of their police conduct records.

4. Since my first contact in October 2013and since becoming a director in December 2014, we have never ever had any reason to suspect that the companies mentioned in the investigation were involved in any unlawful activity whether in Malta or elsewhere.

5. It was only on this basis that the companies involved were accepted as clients of GVM.

6. So far, the Italian Authorities have not approached me. I have already taken action to provide all the necessary information to the Maltese authorities, including the MFSA and the FIAU (Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit). I shall also be directly contacting myself, over the coming days, Italian and Maltese police authorities to clarify my position.

7. However, at this stage I must clarify that the report drawn up by the Italian investigators is factually incorrect as it fails to recognise that GVM is a licensed fiduciary company which holds shares on behalf of beneficial owners disclosed and approved by the Malta Gaming Authority, that I am one of three shareholders and that I have only been appointed as Director since December 2014.

8. In a 770 page document, it would be expected that a statement that I am involved “at the centre” of the network should have been backed up by some sort of evidence of which obviously there is none. In all fairness, the report itself states that the conclusion ‘requires further investigation’ and is ‘pending necessary further investigation’.

26 Comments Comment

  1. RosB says:

    Tant m’ghandux x’jahbi, li David Gonzi stess lest li jikkopera ma’ kulhadd.

  2. Guzu Gatt says:

    Minn sigra serja frieghi serji johorgu, mhux kabocci ta’ sold u nofs.

  3. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Sticking up for the ‘Ndrangheta people, are you?


    I know exactly what a fiduciary company is and what it does, ‘David’ Farrugia. It’s your people who don’t.

    I have taken them – Toni Abela and Chairman Aaron Farrugia – to court for suggesting that I somehow benefited from a contract given by the government to a company whose shares are HELD not owned by a fiduciary company in which my husband is a shareholder.

    He and the other shareholders have also taken Toni Abela and Aaron Farrugia to court on the same matter.

    It is unbelievable that you don’t understand such basic things.

    And just for the record, I totally disapprove of fiduciary services companies and believe that those who operate them and provide the service are taking huge risks for which they will ultimately get the flak.

    There’s always a reason why somebody would want to hide their identity (though with fiduciary services companies, you can’t hide your identity from the authorities, of course) and I don’t see why anybody should help them do it.

    • Robert Gauci says:

      It was Daphne that mentioned Gonzi first 7 days ago. The Times of Malta needs to catch up.

      • Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

        Yes, I was also the first to ring him for his side of the story, as soon as I ran a search on the companies when the Italian list was published last Wednesday.

  4. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    ‘Nationalist losers’?

    For God’s sake, hardly that.

    The only losers I see in this equation are those who voted Labour thinking they would be great.

    • Lawrence Attard says:

      My thoughts exactly about fiduciary services.

      However, I disagree with the ‘good people being dragged down with the bad’ scenario. Good people do not have sleazy inclinations themselves, and they certainly give a damn about the sleaziness of others or of being associated with it.

  5. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Well, obviously. It’s Kurt Sansone not Ivan Camilleri.

    • Kevin J says:

      I have now formed a different opinion of Kurt Sansone. In the beginning he was a decent chap.

      • Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

        Not at all. First he tried to sabotage EU membership by encouraging people to vote AD in the 2003 general election (he worked for Malta Today at the time) then he became Kurt Farrugia’s hot conduit at Times of Malta. So, no thanks.

  6. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    No, we are actually pretty good journalists. And you are clearly deeply involved and getting personally upset, which I can assure you is a really bad idea.

    Good journalists know the importance of context and character. I had tried, once, to explain this to a young journalist who I knew who was at the time working for Times of Malta (he has since left): good journalists do not think in terms of balance because people and situations are not equal; there is context.

    The Labour Party (the party itself, not the people who support it) is essentially a malign organisation. There is no way on earth that a good journalist would put it on the same footing as the Nationalist Party. When you try to do that, your stories wind up sounding absurd.

    Ivan Camilleri and I are not on speaking terms. I disapprove of him hugely for helping put the Labour Party in power by ripping up his vote in the last general election for very egocentric and bitchy reasons.

    No decent or right-minded person would do something like that. But he is good at his job. There: I have just demonstrated to you what a dispassionate, objective approach should be like.

  7. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    You are quite wrong. I suggest you speak to various members of the government and their communications officers, and to s ate corporations, and you will discover that I ring everyone I can for their side of the story.

    I have found some ministers’ communications people to be very helpful indeed, very polite and very prompt in their replies.

    When I ring a communications officer or other official and do not get a reply, I write about it and say so.

    And you would be surprised to know how often I receive information, contact the relevant communications officer, get the other side of the story, and then don’t write about the subject because there is no story at all or because the information is wrong.

    Unfortunately, David, you make the very common mistake of thinking that I invent or hide things just because it doesn’t dovetail with what you believe or what you wish to hear.

    The Labour Party and the Nationalist Party are not equal in any way, nor are the people in the party hierarchies. As I said in a separate comment, the Labour Party is essentially a malign organisation and the PN is not. That is an objective analysis, made by somebody who isn’t dumb and who, I can assure you, was born into two families of ‘Stricklandiani’ – yes, both my mother’s (Mamo) and my father’s (Vella) families.

  8. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    I am going to redirect you to the same reply I have just given you, ‘David’.

    Context is all. Good journalists look at all the information, draw the ends together, assess the character of the individuals and judge how likely it is that they were conned rather than being co-conspirators.

    And the case you mention is completely different: it was about the Labour Party accusing X of corruption when X was a CLIENT of the Treasurer of the Labour Party.

    Think clearly.

  9. joseph camilleri says:

    Reading your complaints, I realise how dissappointed you are.

    I am sure your eyes shone with glee when you saw Dr Gonzi s name appear.

    Suddenly your mirage is fading away and you realise that everything about Dr David Gonzi is correct. Dr Gonzi is still haunting PL and dwarfing the current prime minister.

  10. Joe Fenech says:

    A police conduct certificate means “one has never been caught” – nothing else.

  11. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    David Gonzi is immediately recognisable – even to those who haven’t a clue who his parents are – as well brought up.

    John Dalli and his two brothers are immediately recognisable as the precise opposite of that (and I never knew their parents).

    • bernie says:

      It is amazing how many Labour supporters wearing blinkers are achieving what Ian Borg couldn’t achieve in parliament few days ago, without them really understanding the full context of the issue.

  12. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    It’s not possible to do this job without a good memory.

    I see you still don’t get it.

    I didn’t criticise the Labour Party treasurer for being associated with his clients in and of themselves.

    I criticised him (and his party) for creating a stink about corruption when the party treasurer himself KNEW THE FACTS about the people involved because they are his clients.

    Those facts were not ‘Ndrangheta money-laundering by shady Italians; they were facts that would have been clear to a lawyer who had performed even the most basic know-your-client search.

    • David Farrugia says:

      You never had any credibility. More so now that you haven’t even tried to investigate where this 34 year old son of a PM with 65K a year lives, what car he drives etc.

      I rest my case.

      • Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

        The only reason I have been at the top of this game since I was 25 (that’s a quarter of a century now, a total record by any account for a columnist) is because I have credibility, David.

        Credibility comes from the sound of an authentic voice, besides other things. When I write, people can hear me speak. They know it’s what I think and not what I think they expect me to think.

        It also helps that I know my craft (writing for immediate consumption) and that I have an instinct for what people want to know and read, for a story that will fly.

        But largely, I am the creation of the Labour Party. Without your keeping me in the spotlight with your persecution, targeting and criticism over a full 25 long years, I would never have become this famous.

        Even people who have never picked up a newspaper and can’t read English know about me. So thanks. I mean it. I owe you lots.

        In fact, every time the Labour Party targets me even now – or its fellow travelers slate me on Facebook, like Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando – there is a perceptible surge in traffic on this website and I gain many new readers among people who would never have come here until prompted to do so by Pullicino Orlando or the Labour Party, and who then become hooked and stay. It’s fascinating.

        I don’t have to investigate anything about David Gonzi. I tried explaining something to you very carefully before: I grew up in a totally different context to any other Maltese journalist I know. David Gonzi is married to Melanie Miceli whose father, Norman Miceli (Demajo) is a director of the M. Demajo Group. How do I know this? Largely because Joe Demajo, who was chairman of the M. Demajo Group until his death a couple of years ago, was my uncle when I was a child, and his eldest son is both Norman Miceli’s first cousin and mine. Melanie Miceli is well provided for – not all women are s*rmom barra, to use an expression you would understand, and out to marry for money.

  13. GerrG01 says:

    It’s called confirmation bias which is the tendency of looking for something that suits our preconceived notions while at the same time ignoring data and any other information that does not fit with our preconceived notions.

  14. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    You need to understand that David Farrugia comes from a culture where people think in terms of making it only through hand-outs and cronyism, and where women have no money of their own ever (because their mothers didn’t and nor did their wives and sisters).

    Worse still, they lack the imagination and information to help them understand that their world view is restricted to the more primitive parts of European society and is almost extinct outside Malta and Greece.

  15. H.P. Baxxter says:

    There is a fine line between recognising innocence at law, and making a martyr out of the accused. Let’s not cross it.

  16. H.P. Baxxter says:

    But who will lead it, or even start it? I’m not for a moment suggesting this should be a partisan issue. It must start outside the political class. And I don’t see anyone dissenting.

    When you have people like Joe Woods, who is hardly a household name and is very reserved, coming to this forum for the only time since it was set up eight years ago, to defend the Singapore in the Med model, because he probably felt it was under attack by some comments here, you know it’s impossible to change the paradigm. It has everyone’s support. Dead, alive, big, small, rich and not so rich.

    Even the radical left-wing nuts like Graffiti stay away from the subject. Granted, they probably couldn’t articulate their opposition, but I’ve never heard a word of criticism from them. It’s all about NATO vessels and McDonald’s.

    You have all sensible, moderate, intelligent people supporting the current paradigm.

    So how exactly do you go about challenging it?

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