The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

Keith Schembri denies 'all allegations' made against him; blogger says he is 'lying brazenly'

Sunday, 13 March 2016, 11:24 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Keith Schembri has released a statement this morning, in which he categorically denies all accusations being levelled at him. Opposition leader Simon Busuttil also referred to Mr Schembri in a video message released today, calling on the authorities to 'do their duty' and investigate him, especially in light of new allegations that his company - Kasco - made secret payments to Times of Malta Managing Director Adrian Hillman. 

In his statement, Mr Shembri said: "With reference to a number of media reports which are reflecting a series of coordinated and unsubstantiated attacks against me originating from a dubious and malicious source, I categorically deny all accusations being levelled against me."

"It is clear that there are people who cannot get at me politically and are trying to do so by hitting, through lies and deceit, my commercial interests."

His statement continued: "Prior to entering office I relinquished executive posts of all my commercial interests and made it my business to ensure that Malta has a Government that delivers and makes a real difference in people's lives."

Mr Schembri did not refer exactly to which allegations he was referring to. There are a number of claims swirling around Mr Schembri's business interests. The first, of course, is the opening of a Trust in New Zealand and a company in Panama to manage his interests while he was in Azerbaijan on government business. The second and latest allegation involves claims that his company Kasco made secret payments to Times of Malta Managing Director Adrian Hillman. The story about alleged dealings between Kasko and Mr Hillman first surfaced on blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia's website on Friday, where it was claimed that Mr Hillman received secret payments for purchases by the Allied Group from Kasco. 

Mr Hillman has since gone on indefinite leave and Allied Newspapers has announced that it has launched an independent inquiry into the claims. Mr Hillman has chosen not to comment. Reacting to the fallout of Mr Schembri's denials, Mrs Caruana Galizia took to the comments boards of local news websites and said: "The man is lying brazenly".

In his political speech this morning, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat chose to not make any reference at all to the allegations about Mr Schembri involving Mr Hillman, Mr Schembri's holding in Panama, or Mr Mizzi's similar venture. 


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