Allied Newspapers, the owners of Times of Malta, have said they’re unaware any of its current directors are being criminally investigated in light of an allegation made by former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
“The group wanted to clarify that, to its knowledge, none of its current directors are under any form of criminal investigation,” the Allied Group said in a statement.
“The group reiterates that it will continue to co-operate fully with the police investigations regarding the Schembri-Hillman case, as it did during the magisterial inquiry conducted by Magistrate Josette Demicoli.”
In a long Facebook post yesterday, Schembri said he expects to be charged in connection with a magisterial inquiry into suspicious payments, amounting to some €650,000, that he made to former Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman.
Schembri, who said he read the inquiry’s findings, added that directors of Times of Malta (plural) are also expected to be charged in connection with defrauding Malta Enterprise.
Denouncing the inquiry’s findings as a “travesty of justice”, he said “the Nationalist establishment” couldn’t stomach the fact that he had won a tender by Progress Press to build a new state-of-the-art printing press in Mrieħel fair and square.
“Three companies submitted offers, our bids were scrutinised by two leading audit firms and two company boards, and we won the tender because our offer was €2 million cheaper than the closest competitor,” Schembri said.
“The Nationalist establishment never understood or accepted this, because it cannot realise that a Labour boy, the son of a family of workers who was raised in a housing estate in Bormla, managed to enter a market which the same companies had enjoyed a monopoly over for 40 years.”
“The same establishment couldn’t understand or accept that a Labourite managed to build strong bridges with Times of Malta. The bridge was so strong that, for the first time in its history, Times of Malta was at least ready to listen to what the Labour Party had to say, after years when the relationship between the two sides was inexistent.”
Schembri, his father, and two of his employees, then proceeded to file a constitutional case, warning that the fact the inquiry took almost four years to complete breached their fundamental rights to a fair trial.
They also warned that magistrate Josette Demicoli failed to inform them whether leaks from the inquiry to the media had been investigated, and called out the integrity of forensic expert Miroslava Milenovic on the grounds of her role as vice-president of a small Serbian political party called Enough is Enough.