Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna is to be recalled to appear before the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after a ruling made by Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia.
PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami, who is the PAC’s president, told the Times of Malta that Tonna will be recalled.
Earlier, the Speaker ruled that Brian Tonna has to come forward and face questions put to him by the Public Accounts Committee, but has the right to remain silent only on questions which could incriminate him, Speaker Anglu Farrugia ruled in Parliament.
The Speaker ruled that every witness called to appear before the PAC who does not have any charges against him in connection with the material being discussed by the committee, must appear before the Committee to respond to the questions he will be asked, however he cannot be constrained to answer those questions which he or his lawyer believe could incriminate him.
Last week, Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna remained silent as he faced the parliament’s Public Accounts Committee as it continued to investigate the Electrogas power station deal.
The committee meeting focused on the Auditor General’s report titled “An investigation of Matters relating to the contracts awarded to Electrogas Malta Ltd by Enemalta Corporation”.
Tonna – who is currently out on bail after being charged with money laundering along with 10 others, including former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri on a separate issue – sat on Enemalta’s selection committee along with three other Nexia employees.
Brian Tonna was being represented by lawyer Stephen Tonna Lowell, who told the committee that he had advised his client not to answer any questions as he is facing investigation on this subject. PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami, who chairs this committee, stated that neither he nor the public is aware of any criminal proceedings open on Electrogas specifically.
For every question asked, Tonna simply answered “I choose not to answer”.
Fenech Adami remarked that at that stage, given that Tonna had refused to reply to any question despite them not being linked to the accusations he faces in court, he felt that the matter should be referred to the Speaker for direction and for a ruling, which was given today.