The Malta Independent 9 December 2018, Sunday

Delia says 17 Black inquiry made public only after Opposition insistence

Tuesday, 20 November 2018, 07:56 Last update: about 19 days ago

The 17 Black inquiry was only made public after the Opposition insisted for a thorough investigation, Nationalist Party Leader Adrian Delia said.

“Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Minister Owen Bonnici had to admit the truth and say an inquiry was taking place only after my insistence,” he said. “If I had not asked parliamentary questions they would have kept everything secret,” Delia added when addressing activists in Luqa.

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Delia said that in Parliament he had asked Muscat whether a ministerial statement would have been given after the media reported that an inquiry was taking place on 17 Black and on the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. He said that Muscat had no answer and it was Bonnici who said an inquiry was taking place. If the question had not been asked, the government would not have said anything, Delia said.

17 Black was listed as the 'Main Client' and 'Possible Payer/Sender' of Tillgate and Hearnville, the offshore Panamanian companies owned by OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, leaked emails obtained by German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung showed. In reaction to the news story, Schembri had said that 17 Black never became clients of his business group.  Mizzi had also said that there is no connection, direct or otherwise, between him, his company or trust, and any entity called 17 Black. 

Delia added that Home Minister Michael Farrugia chose to speak to foreign media on developments related to the Caruana Galizia murder, rather than inform Parliament.

He said that last week in Parliament none of the government members spoke about the relationship between Schembri and Mizzi with 17 Black. The PN will continue to ask questions and fight corruption, Delia added.

 

 

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