Keith Schembri is not an integral part of the Labour Party, Prime Minister Robert Abela said today.
“Under my leadership, he’s no longer even a member of the PL,” Abela continued. His comment comes just hours after the former chief of staff once among the most powerful people in Malta was jailed in Corradino Correctional Facility after being refused bail.
Noting that Schembri has every right to defend himself against the major charges of corruption, money laundering and other financial crimes, he denied “completely and categorically” that Schembri was still a central part of the Labour Party’s team.
“Let’s be clear – the case didn’t end yesterday, the case started yesterday,” he said while calling for judicial expediency in handing out justice. He also called on the public to show its support to the police force, police commissioner and courts as they handled this case.
Abela also responded to concerns over Schembri owning a “database” with compromising photos of politicians and other leaders, a database he would use to allegedly pressure people to do his bidding.
“If there’s some database, I am unaware of it – that’s why I have the serenity to take all the decisions I need to take, no one has anything like that that can be used against me,” Abela said.
“I have the full liberty to make any decision – any – and that is why I am determined to keep driving this country forward, even when it comes to good governance, which we will continue to strengthen because our future generations deserve to live in a country with the highest standards.”
When asked if he thought it was a good idea for the Labour Party to defend Schembri until his resignation in 2019 – prior to Abela’s leadership – Abela said he can only be judged on what happened during his tenure.