The magisterial inquiry into allegations made against the Prime Minister’s wife, Michelle Muscat, on the ownership of an offshore Panama company, has issued a decree regarding the allegations presented by Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil on kickbacks paid to Keith Schembri – the Prime Minister’s Chief of staff. The magistrate has said that the complaint will have to be investigated by a new duty magistrate.
The magistrate, Aaron Bugeja, decided today that from the facts presented by Busuttil there is enough evidence for there to be an investigation about the allegations of criminal behaviour that include reported acts of bribery and money laundering. But this particular inquiry will not be led by Bugeja, who has said that “In this case… it will the duty magistrate picked at random to lead the inquiry, and not the magistrate who has received the complaint from someone who is neither the Commissioner of Police nor the Attorney General”.
The magistrate believes that from the facts related to Keith Schembri and Brian Tonna, the prerequisites for an investigation have been found. With this decision Schembri is from today, formally, officially under criminal investigation.
“From now on – I am not alone anymore making allegations,” Busuttil claimed. “But with the proof I put forward, the magistrate felt that he can order a criminal investigation on Keith Schmberi and Brian Tonna” – Busuttil.
Schembri’s lawyers have confirmed that he will cooperate with the new investigation.