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Court Will Rule On Keith Schembri Bail Request At 9am

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A court will decide on a fresh bail request from Keith Schembri and others today at 9am. 

Schembri, his father Alfio, Kasco CEO Malcolm Scerri, and accountant Robert Zammit are requesting bail on the basis that there exists no real fear that any of the men could tamper with evidence or abscond from the island. 

Elaine Mercieca Rizzo from the Attorney General’s office disagreed, insisting that the prosecution is not convinced the men won’t try to influence the case, explaining that the criminal web stretches across a number of years and involves a wide group of people. BT;

Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech will issue her decree later today. Lovin Malta will be following the sitting life, which followed by a hearing concerning Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna, Karl Cini, and Manuel Castagna.

The men have been charged on a litany of offences including money laundering, fraud, forgery and corruption. They were first arrested over two magisterial inquiries on Saturday 20th March and have been at Corradino ever since.

One inquiry is related to allegations that Schembri channelled over €650,000 to then-Allied Newspapers Managing Director Adrian Hillman in suspicious payments between 2011 and 2015 in a deal which saw his company, Kasco, supply a printing press to Times of Malta in 2008.

Last week, an inspector explained how Times of Malta issued a tender for a new printing machine. Schembri’s company won the bid, having agreed with two directors of the company that he would overcharge more than €6.5 million so he can launder €5 million in kickbacks to himself and three others, Hillman, Scerri and Vince Buhagiar, with the aid of Nexia BT and MFSP (now Zenith). 

Then Schembri went on to sell Allied Newspapers some €21 million in raw materials. And the company ended up having to wind most of its printing operations down and sell its property in Valletta.

The other is related to a suspected passport kickbacks scheme between Schembri and Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna. According to a leaked report by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU), Tonna transferred two €50,000 payments through Pilatus Bank to Schembri.

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Julian doesn’t like to talk about himself. But if he did, he would let you know that he’s into anything that has got to do with politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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