A young entrepreneur facing criminal charges of alleged kidnapping will not be allowed to provide hired cars to members of the judiciary after an appeal he lodged against the Court Services Agency was dismissed.
The Shift is told that the Public Contracts Review Board (PCRB) ruled this week that the contracting authority that disqualified Christian Borg’s company from the €3million tender was right on several counts. points, including that Borg attempted to submit data on past rental agreements which turned out to be incorrect. One of these contracts was for the rental of cars at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The PCRB rejected arguments made by Borg’s lawyer, Albert Libreri, that the authority went beyond its legal mandate in its assessment, saying the decision was based on a “reasonable and sound” assessment where all bidders were on an equal footing.
Borg is the subject of an ongoing police investigation into possible involvement in money laundering and drug trafficking rings, and did not appear in court.
His lawyer was accompanied by Joe Camenzulidirector of Princess Operations Ltd and until a few months ago official photographer of the ruling Labor Party.
The government’s tender, published in May, provided for a five-year lease of 48 plug-in hybrid cars for the personal use of all members of the judiciary, including the chief justice, judges and magistrates.
Eyebrows were immediately raised when The Shift revealed that Borg’s company had submitted the cheapest offer and was about to win the tender.
The magistrates expressed their disgust at the situation, especially since the future owner of their personal vehicle could find themselves before them charged with criminal offences.
The call for tenders was canceled following informal objections and pressure put on the OPM by members of the judiciary because the evaluation committee concluded that none of the bidders had met the necessary criteria.
At the time of this writing, the Court Services Agency has not issued a new tender.
Borg, 29, is believed to have amassed a multimillion-dollar personal portfolio from his business and property dealings, but his criminal record has raised questions about how he made so much money. He was convicted of tampering with car license plates in 2015 and perjury in 2021, and he is now charged with kidnapping.
Photos of Borg bragging about his close ties to Prime Minister Robert Abela surfaced on social media soon after his latest arrest, forcing the prime minister to admit their close personal ties.
It also emerged that Abela had earned some €45,000 from a real estate deal he made with Borg at a time when he was both the man’s lawyer and acting as legal adviser to the town planning office.
Abela played down his connection to the defendant, insisting the deal was normal and all taxes due had been paid.