John Dalli’s factotum David Newman involved in Broadcasting Authority’s move to new premises

Published: January 30, 2017 at 4:28pm

The Broadcasting Authority is set to move into new offices in Valletta’s Melita Street, while the Ministry for the Economy moves into the office building it vacates, which is close to the Labour Party headquarters in Hamrun.

The move, which is being driven by this government’s ‘Taghna Lkoll’ appointee to the Broadcasting Authority chairmanship, Tanya Borg Cardona, a kept woman of several decades’ standing who has never worked at all, let alone in the highly specialised field of broadcasting regulation.

Malta Today, which reports on the office-shift, seems to think that it is being done to accommodate Chris Cardona, the Minister for the Economy who is also the Labour Party’s deputy leader, taking his government base physically closer to his party base as he gears up for a general election.

But that makes no sense at all. The newspaper also reports that David Newman, who lived with Mrs Borg Cardona for more than 20 years, and who still maintains her financially – he paid for the Jaguar convertible two-seater which she drives, and for her flat on Sliema’s Tower Road – is involved in negotiations for the Broadcasting Authority move to Valletta and has been in meetings at the Broadcasting Authority’s current offices for that purpose.

That is the real story right there, but Malta Today can’t see it or pretends not to. Newman’s involvement in negotiations for the move can only mean that he is brokering the deal on new offices on behalf of somebody else, and that he is using his relationship with the Broadcasting Authority chairman to force the deal through on what is possibly a corrupt basis.

David Newman’s role over the last few years has been that of a fixer, most significantly for John Dalli when he was a cabinet minister and almost certainly into the present. Newman washed up in Malta in the early 1990s and set up a mobile phone retail outlet which he ran with Mrs Borg Cardona.

The business went bankrupt after just a few years, and Newman and Borg Cardona fled to his native England to escape their creditors. They returned when the prescription period for civil claims had elapsed, and Newman began working for John Dalli, using his business cards and listing as a consultant to Malta’s Finance Minister to build a network of contacts for himself and Dalli.

When John Dalli fought the Nationalist Party leadership election in 2004, the campaign was spearheaded behind the scenes by David Newman and Tanya Borg Cardona, who remained loyal to him.

The answer to why the Broadcasting Authority is moving to Valletta’s Melita Street lies not in Chris Cardona desire to shift his offices to Hamrun, but in the ultimate beneficial ownership of the building which the Broadcasting Authority has bought or will lease. I don’t have that information yet, but it’s a safe bet that David Newman is brokering the deal for that UBO.

This means in turn that the Broadcasting Authority chairman will benefit through the deal because Newman maintains her financially and she has no other (visible) source of income – unless she is Malta’s first ever state pensioner who drives a convertible Jaguar.

Malta Today’s managing editor, Saviour Balzan, is well aware of who David Newman is, because when Newman and Borg Cardona were working to get John Dalli elected leader of the Nationalist Party (which would have made him prime minister at the time), so was Balzan. They were on the same team.