Prime Minister Disputes Backtracking On Schembri Resignation, Says ‘I Was Always Consistent’
"It is ironic that until a few days ago the government was accused of stalling investigations. Now it is being criticized because of ongoing inquiries"
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has insisted his position with regards Keith Schembri was always consistent, despite saying in an interview last year that his chief of staff would resign the moment criminal investigations commence against him.
Contacted by Lovin Malta about this contradiction in light of revelations that the police and a magistrate are investigating the Dubai company 17 Black, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister responded:
“It is ironic that until a few days ago the Government was accused of stalling investigations. Now it is being criticized because of ongoing inquiries.
For the record, your assertion is wrong. The Sunday Times of Malta said that investigations are about allegations on 17 Black. Only such investigations can establish the veracity of these allegations and determine whether, or not, there are any grounds to proceed to the indictment of criminal prosecution.
That is why the Prime Minister was always consistent with saying that he awaits the factual results of any ongoing investigation.”
However, in an interview on Xtra last year, Muscat stated that his “crystal clear position” is that Schembri would resign on the spot from any position he may hold if he is ever subjected to some type of criminal investigation, not if he is indicted.
The clip is at 27:35 - 28:38
The Sunday Times of Malta reported that police are investigating 17 Black, one of two companies suspected of being intended for the channeling of illicit funds into Schembri’s and Mizzi’s Panama companies. Police investigations reportedly started in March in the wake of a financial intelligence report naming Tumas Group CEO Yorgen Fenech as the owner of 17 Black and they took another turn in recent weeks with the commencement of a magisterial inquiry.