Alfred Mifsud's former partner had reported allegations 10 years ago

Investigations only started after blogger wrote about them in 2016

The ex-partner of the former Central Bank deputy governor had made allegations about him to the police in 2006, but no criminal steps were ever taken against him. They were only investigated after blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote about him.

Alfred Mifsud, who had to step down as deputy governor as a result of the blogger’s story, testified in court today that it was only after the blog post was uploaded that the European System of Central Banks put great pressure on local authorities to investigate the allegations.

Testifying in a libel case against the blogger, who posted the blog shortly before he was due to be promoted to the post of governor, Mr Mifsud complained that “mud-slinging is easy, but removing its effects can prove very difficult”.

Before Magistrate Francesco Depasquale, Mr Mifsud explained that he had been particularly offended by the term ‘fixer’ used in his regard, relating to the allegations that he had received cash from the representative of an American software company tasked with changing Mid-Med Bank's IT system during his stint as the bank’s chairman between 1996-1998.

He insisted that he had no idea that Ronnie Demajo, a mere acquaintance in his social circles, was somehow involved with the American company. In fact, he had only discovered that members of the Demajo family were agents of the American software company when he came face to face with Joe Demajo at the signing of the contract, Mr Mifsud further explained.

Insisting that the whole story had stemmed from personal issues with his former partner Anna Zelbst, who had fed details to the blogger as a "personal vendetta", Mr Mifsud said that he had explained this to Ms Caruana Galizia when she had called him shortly before breaking the story.

In spite of this, on June 15, 2016 the day after the first blog post had made the rounds, another article appeared claiming that ‘Central Bank Governor Designate Laundered Portion of Cash Bribes through Third Party Accounts.’

Mr Mifsud pointed out that titles to such written pieces were attention grabbers which often caused greatest impact upon readers, sending out a negative message even on an international level.

If Ms Zelbst’s allegations were indeed genuine, why had she waited 20 years to spill the beans, questioned Mr Mifsud

Nothing appeared to have resulted from these investigations, concluded Mr Mifsud, stressing that the police must have given some form of clearance or reassurance to the authorities calling for his investigation.

The blogger’s intention was clearly to make him miss out on his once-in-a-lifetime chance of being appointed to the coveted post of Central Bank governor, Mr Mifsud declared, observing further that the story had caused waves in the political arena with the Opposition Deputy Leader posting a comment that the then deputy governor’s “current position was untenable.”

If Ms Zelbst’s allegations were indeed genuine, why had she waited 20 years to spill the beans, questioned Mr Mifsud. Although his former partner had claimed that she ‘did not want a corrupt governor’, her true intention had been to cause ‘maximum damage,’ so much so that she had even tried to sell her story abroad to foreign journals such as Politico.

The case continues with the cross-examination of Mr Mifsud.

Lawyer Pawlu Lia assisted Mr Mifsud and lawyer Joseph Zammit Maempel was counsel to Ms Caruana Galizia.