The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi to sue Daphne Caruana Galizia

Saturday, 15 April 2017, 13:04 Last update: about 4 years ago

No Portfolio Minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri will sue blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia on fabricated allegations made, separate DOI statements said.

Mr Schembri was the first to announce his intentions, saying that he will request the court to hear the libel case with urgency, Mr Schembri said, adding that if Daphne Caruana Galizia is sure of what she is saying, she should have no problem to accept.

ADVERTISEMENT

Whoever makes allegations must substantiate them, Mr Schembri said.

He said that the PN is so confused that it is resorting to lies and fake news. Mr Schembri said he is determined not to allow such lies to continue.

In a separate statement, No Portfolio Minister Konrad Mizzi also said he will take the blogger to court.

Minister Konrad Mizzi denied the allegations made today by blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia. Caruana Galizia alleged that “very large sums of money” were moved to bank accounts held by Heanville Inc and other companies. Caruana Galizia further alleged that in September 2015, Minister Mizzi visited Pilatus Bank in Ta Xbiex.

These allegations are false, and Minister Mizzi rejects the assertions in the strongest terms possible. No sum of money was ever transferred to Hearnville Inc. Indeed, Hearnville Inc. never had any bank account. Furthermore, Minister Mizzi never visited Pilatus Bank. Additionally, no funds from or related to Azerbaijan were ever transferred in any way to Minister Mizzi or any member of his family.

Daphne Caruana Galizia is lying outright, Dr Mizzi said.

Minister Mizzi had requested trustees to commission an independent audit of the New Zealand family trust and of Hearnville Inc. The trustees have engaged Crowe Horwath, one of the largest public audit and accounting firms in the world, and the audit has established that the financial statements of the structure were presented fairly, in all material respects and in accordance with accounting policies. The auditors have confirmed that the evidence they obtained was sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for their audit opinion. This confirmed that the structure is solely intended as a family trust and that no bank accounts were held by the trust and company.

Minister Mizzi said he will be instituting libel proceedings against Caruana Galizia in connection with the slanderous allegations made by the blogger. He will further request that the Court hear the case with urgency.

Commenting on her website, Daphne Caruana Galizia said that when she broke the story that the two had a company in Panama held by a trust in New Zealand they had said that she was lying. "But I wasn't," she wrote.

  • don't miss