More details from my source at the Velbert brothel

Published: February 1, 2017 at 10:43am

It was Joe Gerada, the lawyer who has been put on the payroll in the Economy Minister’s private secretariat as a “consultant”, and who is now a “policy officer for Malta’s EU presidency”, who first began complaining at the top of his voice in the brothel showers about the water temperature being cold, then lukewarm, then cold again: “Haqq għall-liba kemm hu kiesaħ.”

Then the Minister for the Economy chimed in: “Haqq Alla kemm hu kiesaħ.”

My source had, of course, recognised the Minister for the Economy despite never having seen his private bits or his Che Guevara shoulder tattoo before (faces serve that useful purpose), but he had never seen Joe Gerada before in his life. His initial description, while they were all still in the brothel on Monday night, was that the Economy Minister, Chris Cardona, was with a man “who looks a lot like Neville Gafa, but I’m not sure it’s Gafa”.

Well, Neville Gafa had no reason to be with the Economy Minister at all, still less in a brothel in Germany, and doesn’t seem to have any interest in women anyway, so I didn’t think it was him. Why was the Minister in Germany, anyway? There was no press release or anything about his trip in the newspapers.

It was late at night and all the offices were closed, so I had to wait until the following morning (yesterday) to find out that yes, Chris Cardona had travelled to Germany as a guest of the German government, to speak at a conference only 30 minutes away by car from the FKK Acapulco brothel where my source had seen him with this other man.

Going on the description provided by my source – that the Minister’s companion looks a lot like Neville Gafa – I got the name of the other government official travelling with Cardona, Joe Gerada, and went straight to his Facebook page to check him out as I had no idea who he is. Bingo: as close to Neville Gafa as dammit if you knew neither of them well.

Photographs were downloaded and sent to my source who couldn’t see them until late in the afternoon. But even before my source confirmed that, yes, he was the one he saw at the brothel, I had reached that conclusion anyway on the basis that 1. Gerada was the only Maltese man fitting that description who had travelled with the Economy Minister, 2. he took down his Facebook page early in the morning even though my post of the night before showed clearly that I had no idea who the Minister’s bald companion at the brothel was; and 3. I obtained his mobile phone number and rang and messaged him throughout the day, but he didn’t pick up or ring back, and by late in the day he had set his phone to reject my number automatically. Then I got the confirmation I needed from my source, when he was finally able to look at the pictures.

Now for a very important point: my source is not some random reader who rang me or messaged me out of the blue and who I don’t know. He is somebody who has known me since I was a baby, and who knows my family of origin over several generations. For reasons that are obvious, he would have no reason to invent the story, no reason to lie to me (but rather the opposite), and every reason to keep quiet and say nothing.

The facts are these: Chris Cardona, the Minister for the Economy, was in a brothel in Velbert, called the FKK Acapulco, on Monday night roughly between 7pm and 10.30pm with Joe Gerada, a consultant and ‘EU presidency policy officer’ in his Ministry’s secretariat. They were naked in the shower together, then went to the bar where they negotiated with a prostitute. Gerada went with her first, then the Minister followed him in.

The next day (yesterday) the Minister and his consultant returned to the same brothel at around 4pm. I don’t know what they did there or what time they left because my source – another Maltese man, not the same one – left at 5pm without reporting anything further, at which point they were still there.

At around 5.30pm, Cardona communicated with the press in Malta, saying that he will sue me. At that point I had not yet revealed that I know he visited the brothel that afternoon, because my source had asked me to wait until well after he had left. Nor had I revealed Gerada’s identity because I was still trying to reach him for comment, unsuccessfully.

Putting this information together – Cardona’s and Gerada’s arrival at the brothel at 4pm and Cardona’s announcement at around 5.30pm that he will sue me – suggests that they went to the FKK Acapulco not for sex but to negotiate on getting their backs covered in terms of CCTV footage or billing details.

The Minister for the Economy is now lying baldly to save his skin. His consultant is not even bothering to lie or to issue a statement of denial, but is instead tweeting obscure American references to fake news. Gerada is going to be the Minister’s weakest link, because I suspect that unlike Cardona, he’s going to have issues with committing perjury and lying brazenly under oath, not only because of conscience issues, but because it could cost him his warrant. Cardona, on the other hand, is clearly way beyond the point where he cares about anything.