The Malta Independent 12 December 2018, Wednesday

‘I never knew about 17 Black,’ Konrad Mizzi insists

Friday, 7 December 2018, 11:12 Last update: about 5 days ago

“I never knew about 17 Black. I never had the intention of knowing it and I do not know till this day who it belongs to apart from what I read in the media. Whatever this company did I do not know,” Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi insists.

When asked by Savour Balzan on Xtra, aired on PBS on Thursday, who included 17 Black in the documentation pertaining to his Panama company, Mizzi shrugged off the question, insisting that there had been other allegations against him that were proven to be untrue.

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“This came through a leaked email published in the media but let us wait for the 17 Black inquiry to end and I am convinced truth will prevail. I have no association, direct or indirect, with this company and I never received any money,” Mizzi said.

17 Black and Macbridge were listed as the 'Main Clients' and 'Possible Payers/Senders' 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 previously said that there is no connection, direct or otherwise, between him, his company or trust, and any entity called 17 Black.

“I never set foot in Pilatus Bank and never had the intention to but I was once filmed coming out of the same building by NET TV and Daphne Caruana Galizia assumed I was at Pilatus Bank when all I had done was visit the office of Shanghai Electric Power,” Mizzi said.

He said there were other untrue claims made in his regard such as that he was having an affair with a member of his staff. “This was an outright lie and it hurt people,” he said.

Mizzi said he will contest the next general election even if the Prime Minister lives up to his word and quits.

“Yes, I will contest another election… If Joseph Muscat leaves I will still contest but I want him to stay and will work with him, the grassroots and everyone else to convince him to stay,” Mizzi said.

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