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Asset Freeze On Keith Schembri Partially Retracted To Pay Employees

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Employees of companies owned by former OPM Chief-of-Staff Keith Schembri have received their wages after Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg retracted a section of an asset freeze order that preceded his arrest.

Six companies owned by former OPM Chief-Of-Staff Keith Schembri had filed a court request last month to temporarily unfreeze their assets to pay salaries of some 100 employees. It was signed by Schembri’s lawyers Edward Gatt and Mark Vassallo, who warned the action was “catastrophic” for the families affected.

According to Times Of Malta, AG Buttigieg retracted the section that affected wages before the court could make a decision on the court application.

The remaining parts of the freeze order remain in force.

This came after Schembri was arrested over money-laundering allegations involving kickbacks from the investment-for-citizenship scheme launched under former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

His lawyers questioned whether the freezing order was in line with the conclusion of the magisterial inquiry on alleged illicit profits gained through the passport scheme. Former Prime Minister Muscat has called for the inquiry conclusions to be published. 

Now-closed accounting company Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna, Karl Cini and Mark Castagna were also arrested in connection to the alleged financial crime. All were released on police bail.

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