Newly-formed civil society group Repubblika has instantly called for the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, as well as of his chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.
“Joseph Muscat is fully aware that his behaviour in respect of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi raises enormous doubts not only within civil society or persons that are openly critical of the government,” Repubblika’s chairperson Marion Pace Asciak, former president of the PN’s women’s branch, told a press conference outside Castille.
“Supporters of Joseph Muscat are also feeling grave doubts. They cannot fathom why he still retains two persons who have committed horrible crimes and are causing real embarrassment to the entire government.”
“These supporters do not understand why Joseph Muscat is not even prepared to consider the removal of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. We submit that Joseph Muscat’s behaviour makes his own position untenable. He himself is abusing his own power and amputating justice.”
Repubblika called a press conference in light of reports that a magisterial inquiry has been launched to assist police in their investigation of 17 Black, a Dubai company owned by Tumas Group CEO Yorgen Fenech suspected of being intended for the channeling of illicit funds into Schembri’s and Mizzi’s Panama companies
Muscat said in an interview last year that Schembri would resign if he is ever subjected to some type of criminal investigation, but is now defending his inaction against his chief of staff on the grounds that the “the investigation is into 17 Black and not into a specific individual”.
“These twists are not acceptable,” Pace Axiak said. “17 Black in and of itself does not require a criminal investigation. 17 Black is a Dubai company owned by Yorgen Fenech of Tumas Group. The only thing that could be alleged about its existence is that it is some tool for tax evasion.”