Prime Minister Refuses To Tie His Political Future To Fate Of Mizzi And Schembri

Joseph Muscat: "It's irrelevant whether I believe their versions of events or not"

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Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addresses a conference organised by the Malta Institute of Accountants

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat refused to tie his political future to ongoing police investigations into 17 Black, saying he will only resign if the inquiries implicate him personally.

“I will definitely resign if the inquiries find something against me,” Muscat told the press this morning. “With regards [Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri], I have no doubt I will have to shoulder political responsibility for all the decisions I take once the inquiries are complete.”

Muscat’s stance is decidedly different to the one he had adopted last year when Daphne Caruana Galizia claimed the Panama company Egrant belonged to his wife. Back then, Muscat immediately requested a magisterial inquiry and pledged to resign if the inquiry finds the smallest proof of wrongdoing on his part. The Egrant inquiry was eventually completed last July and didn’t find any evidence to back up the allegations.

However, Muscat has not stuck his neck out for his chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, refusing to even state whether he believes their versions of events or not.

“Whether I believe them or not is irrelevant as it’s up to the investigators to decide,” he said.

Mizzi has repeatedly insisted that he set up his Panama company for family planning purposes, while Schembri has said he set it up for business purposes. If both men are telling the truth, it would raise questions about Nexia BT which had said in an email that both companies will operate in diverse business operations across Europe, Africa and Asia. That email listed 17 Black, which belongs to Tumas Group CEO Yorgen Fenech, and another Dubai company called Macbridge as the two target clients of the Panama companies.

READ NEXT: We Have To Stop Saying 17 Black Is An Allegation. It’s Not An Allegation.

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Tim Diacono

Tim Diacono tends to clam up when asked to describe himself. You can contact him on [email protected]