Konrad Mizzi went on secret trip to Baku

Published: May 17, 2016 at 12:44am

Konrad Mizzi was on a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul a few days ago, and yesterday (Monday) two of my readers saw him on the Turkish Airlines flight back from Istanbul and one of them took a picture on the airport bus. He had cut his trip short to return for his maternal grandfather’s funeral today (Tuesday).

Sources have since informed me that the Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister was in Istanbul only in transit, to take a connecting flight to Baku and then another connecting flight yesterday from Baku to Malta, with Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines serves the Malta/Istanbul/Malta and Baku/Istanbul/Baku routes.

We can now see that removing the ‘Minister for Energy’ label from Konrad Mizzi, while retaining him in the Office of the Prime Minister (his desk and secretariat were there even when he was Minister for Energy and Health), and leaving him in charge of energy and Projects Malta, was not a “rebuke” at all, as the Prime Minister called it, but a move designed to allow him to operate below the radar.

The movements of the Minister for Energy – or any other Minister with a portfolio – are documented, tracked and monitored. If the Department of Information does not issue a press release about them, then we will generally find them reported on the news portals of the third-world countries they visit. That is how we found out about that visit which Muscat, Mizzi, Schembri and Farrugia made unaccompanied to Baku in December 2014 – through an English-language news portal out of Azerbaijan.

But when a Minister has no portfolio, people don’t bother as much and he comes and goes largely as he pleases. What Muscat has done is given Mizzi total freedom to sneak in and out of the country on questionable manouevres, with the press left uninformed by the Department of Information. So now we have been reduced to hoping somebody spots him on planes and at airports and reports back, so that we can ask questions and get no answers.

What was Konrad Mizzi doing secretly in Baku last week?

Konrad Mizzi on the airport bus in Istanbul yesterday, on his way back from Baku to go to his grandfather's funeral.

Konrad Mizzi on the airport bus in Istanbul yesterday, on his way back from Baku to go to his grandfather’s funeral.