There is enough evidence for former Nexia BT partners Brian Tonna, Manuel Castagna and Karl Cini, along with the firm’s manager, Katrin Bondin Carter, to be indicted and stand trial, a magistrate has decreed.
In a decree handed down following today’s sitting, Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech said there was enough prima facie evidence for a bill of indictment to be issued by the Attorney General.
While the magistrate has decreed that there is enough evidence for a bill of indictment to be issued, the Attorney General’s office may well hold off on doing so in order for more evidence to be gathered.
The four have been charged with corruption and money laundering among other charges on the basis of the findings of two magisterial inquiries. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The first magisterial inquiry was into the allegation that Tonna had transferred €100,000 in kickbacks from the sale of Maltese passports to former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Both Tonna and Schembri claimed that the transferred funds were the repayment of a loan Schembri had given Tonna when the latter was going through separation proceedings.
The second investigation centred around €650,000 transferred from Schembri to former Allied Group managing partner Adrian Hillman.
Stephen Tonna Lowell is representing Tonna and Cini. Michael Sciriha and Matthew Xuereb are representing Manuel Castagna.
Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia are representing Bondin Carter.
Gianella De Marco is appearing for KBT Holdings.
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