The Malta Independent 24 September 2023, Sunday
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Keith Schembri will resign if ‘new’ inquiring magistrate opens criminal investigation - Muscat

Gabriel Schembri Friday, 5 May 2017, 10:14 Last update: about 7 years ago

OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri will resign if the magistrate appointed to hold an inquiry into the documents presented by Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil finds that there is enough evidence for a criminal investigation, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning.

A magistrate will need to be appointed to look into the case after Magistrate Aaron Bugeja, who is conducting another inquiry on the Egrant case, ruled that the evidence presented by Dr Busuttil is enough for a criminal investigation to be launched into Keith Schembri and Nexia BT director Brian Tonna.

But the Busuttil evidence is not connected with the Egrant inquiry and Magistrate Bugeja said that another magistrate needs to be appointed. 

The inquiry led by Magistrate Bugeja revolves around allegations that the PM's wife Michelle is the owner of a Panama company, similar to the ones established for OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri and No Portfolio Minister Konrad Mizzi. The Muscat couple are refusing the allegations.

Addressing the media in Birkirkara, Muscat referred to death threats received by PL leader Marlene Farrugia, saying that he and other politicians get many threats on Facebook and claimed that what hurt him most was when someone told him they would send his children to an orphanage.

He appealed for everyone to remain and calm and respectable on social media. He said this only minutes after his supporters booed a PN journalist for asking about Keith Schembri's position.

Road works investment to increase by five times

The Prime Minister, accompanied by the Minister for Transport, Minister for Tourism, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and the PL Deputy Leader, this morning gave more details on the €700 million proposal to resurface all roads in Malta.

During this legislature, the PL government resurfaced 308 Km of roads which amounts to 424 roads in Malta and Gozo. These came through an investment of €133 million.

With the proposed measure, the government spending on road works will increase by five times. The Prime Minister explained that this investment does not include big projects like the Kappara junction or the one in Marsa.  

At the first phase of the project, the government will allocate funds to resurface 170 residential roads which were never constructed. He explained that an agency will be purposefully set up to coordinate these works.

Roads which previously fell under the responsibility of the Local Councils but cannot be resurfaced due to the expenditure involved, will now be taken up by the government. Local Councils will still be given the same €7 million, but now these can be used for other local projects. Local Councils will be given, primarily, the task to focus on maintenance.

Dr Muscat promised that potholes will now be resurfaced in less than 24 hours.

Among the list of pre-electoral promises, the government is pledging more cycle-friendly measures and the upgrading of every tunnel in Malta. A pilot project will also be launched to remove wires which dangle from one house to another.  

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