The Malta Independent 10 December 2018, Monday

Watch: ‘Inquiry is on the company, and nothing else’, Joseph Muscat says about 17 Black

Albert Galea Wednesday, 21 November 2018, 11:52 Last update: about 18 days ago

The magisterial inquiry currently ongoing into 17 Black is “on the company and nothing else”, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Wednesday morning when asked about what the said inquiry entails.

Muscat said that, as he had done in the past, if there was any political or politically exposed person implicated in criminal activity then he would take the necessary decisions.

The questions follow news revealed by Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, who said in Parliament on Monday that a magisterial inquiry focusing on the once secret Dubai based company 17 Black was opened weeks before new revelations revealed that the company is owned by Tumas Group CEO and Electrogas shareholder and consortium director Yorgen Fenech.

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Muscat said that he could not understand the fact that the arguments that his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri should resign because there is an inquiry open have come up now.  He noted that the then Opposition leader Simon Busuttil himself filed a request for an inquiry in court on Keith Schembri himself, and yet nobody had said that because Schembri is being investigated then he should resign.  Now suddenly, he said, because it was shared that there is an investigation demanded by the authorities in an independent manner on “a company” there has been a sudden change of track.

“Let us leave the authorities do their jobs.  If there is any implication against a political person, I, as I have done in the past, will make the necessary decisions”, Muscat said.

Quizzed about the fact that he had, around a year ago, said that Keith Schembri would instantly resign if there was any criminal investigations on him, Muscat reiterated that the information that the government has in hand is that the investigation is “on a company, and not on an individual”.

He also repeated what the Justice minister said in Parliament; that the government was not initially informed of any specific inquiries into 17 Black.  However after news reports published last Sunday made reference to the possibility of such an inquiry existing, the Attorney General was contacted and he that an inquiry had been opened exclusively into 17 Black.

The Opposition were those who could talk least about the situation because there are investigations into members of the said opposition, Muscat said, citing an investigation into PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami as an example.

PD statement

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is playing with words, pretending he does not understand, Partit Demokratiku said in a statement.

We ask Joseph Muscat:

(1) Who's boss? You or Keith Schembri?

(2) Police investigations and magisterial inquiries are secret. How do you know Keith Schembri is not under investigation?

Joseph Muscat will not find Partit Demokratiku hanging out with him at football matches but in Parliament doing our job safeguarding our Republic.

 

Partit Demokratiku reaffirmed its commitment "to fix the broken system and renew Malta".


Video: Luke Zerafa
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