The Malta Independent 25 June 2017, Sunday

Watch: 'Criminal complaint filed against person who presented Schembri-money laundering proof'

Friday, 19 May 2017, 18:30 Last update: about 2 months ago

Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil stated that this evening that police received a criminal complaint (kwerela) against the person who provided Dr Busuttil with the documents showing that the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri was involved in money laundering.

While addressing a political activity in Mgarr, he said that “they” filed a complaint with the police, and promised full protection to the person who had the ‘courage’ to come forward with the documents.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Instead of taking action against the criminals, they take action against the person coming forward!”

This morning Dr Busuttil presented evidence which he says proves allegations that the Mr Schembri had made payments to former managing director of Allied newspapers Adrian Hellman in an act of money laundering. He had also presented evidence in court that Mr Schembri had taken kickbacks from Brian Tonna (Nexia BT director) from the sale of passports.

Asked about this, he said:

“This scandal hits the closest person to the Prime Minister, and therefore Dr Muscat cannot remove Mr Schembri because they are one and the same.

“I believe that if I receive information that is crucial proof before a general election this must be investigated.

“I had enough proof to give away eight box files filled with documents, that I presented to Magistrate Aaron Bugeja this morning. The person who supplied the documents has risked everything, but had the courage to come forward. I thank you in the name of all Malta.

“The PL’s reaction is ridiculous. They said the box files were empty. Right now, Malta is being run by criminals!

“This latest case can be described in this way: enormous transactions were made, without valid reason, from Mr Schembri to Mr Hillman. The transfers amount to €650,000 and are without explanation or justification. There is no reason for Mr Schembri to pay that amount, other than for illegal and unjustifiable reasons.

“This morning, after leaving court, I gave them a small taste of the proof I presented. I asked them if they were aware of the reasons being provided by the pair, and then told them it was ‘editorial services’. What editorial services? Now we know how these people buy each other.

“I provided proof showing that the numerous transactions amounting to €650,000 come from companies and bank accounts in Malta, some offshore structures and other complicated structures. Pilatus bank is of course implicated, as they always are recently.

Pilatus bank is at the centre of the Egrant allegations where journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia stated that the Prime Minister’s wife, Mrs Michelle Muscat, is the beneficial owner of the Panama company Egrant, and she received a transfer of US$1.017 million through Pilatus Bank.

“The people have two choices before them. One on 3 June on who to vote for, and outside of Malta board of directors will be deciding whether they will be investing in Malta based on who we choose. They will decide if they will be staying in Malta should we choose a corrupt government.”

Dr Busuttil said that over the past few days, there have been companies that already chose not to invest in Malta in the light of all this controversy.

He said that Malta’s institutions have been weakened so that they close an eye to everything.

“Prime Minister Muscat has not only been closing an eye to corruption, he has been giving corruption his blessing for the past four years,” he said to louse applaud, and went on to list several known scandals that have mired the government such as the Cafe Premier scandal, Australia Hall and more.

“Now that Dr Muscat has protected Minister Konrad Mizzi, Mr Schembri and Brian Tonna, his faith is tied to there. He has protected them because he is complicit. Can you imagine, I am saying that the PM’s chief of staff is involved in money laundering and he continues to defend? I must now rely on Malta to get rid of these criminals.”

Minister Mizzi, Mr Schembri and Brian Tonna were implicated in the Panama Papers scandal last year. It was found that managing director of Nexia BT had set up three companies in Panama, two belonging to Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi, and also set up two New Zealand trusts to shelter the two companies. The third company is Egrant inc. 

Deputy leader and Shadow Minister of home affairs Beppe Fenech Adami said he was proud to announce his party’s proposals for the Armed Forces of Malta, the Police Force and other services that help keep Malta running smoothly earlier today.

He slammed the government for its treatment of the AFM and the police, as well as “defending criminals instead of stopping criminality”

Dr Fenech Adami proudly reiterated his proposal for hospital warders, the AFM, the police and other institutions should be working 40 hour work-weeks like is the norm, and went on to highlight other proposals that were presented this morning.

Attracting more women to the police force and the army is a proposal that was highlighted, as part of the PN’s mission for full equality, he said.

He also pledged that those who have served time in prison will come out with the skills to rehabilitate themselves and reintegrate back into society.

Rounding off the event, Dr Busuttil said that he is ready, from his first day in office, to appoint a minister specifically for farming and fishing.

Prime Minister Muscat’s failure to attend a PANA committee hearing, the European Parliament’s special committee on tax avoidance, tax evasion and money laundering, today in Strasbourg, has led to the committee postponing the next hearing until June.

Dr Busuttil said that for the next meeting, he will be attending the committee hearing as the new Prime Minister and will let the EU know that Malta “is back in business”.

He could not hold back a jab at the Police Commissioner who was famously filmed at a restaurant after dining on rabbit (fenkata) right after the Egrant allegations peaked, in view of the activity taking place at Malta’s de facto rabbit district, Mgarr.

“The choice is clear on 3 June, between corruption/criminality and Malta. I choose Malta,” he concluded.

 

MP Claudio Grech spoke of Malta’s economy needing an injection of new ideas, while spokesperson for the environment Tony Bezzina delved into further detail about special measures aimed at farmers and fisherman, and also explained further about the proposed Minister for those sectors.

Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil is addressing a political activity in Mgarr. You may follow the event live on the link below:

 

  • don't miss