The Malta Independent 5 August 2020, Wednesday

TMIS Editorial: Part 2: A million unanswered questions… Muscat, Schembri cannot keep hiding

Sunday, 8 December 2019, 11:30 Last update: about 9 months ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his former chief of staff, Keith Schembri, are nowhere to be seen in the unfolding drama.

The press has a million questions to ask, especially after this week’s bombshell revelations in court, but no one is there to answer us.

Keith Schembri has been locked up at his Mellieħa villa for two weeks now, and repeated attempts to speak to him have proved futile. Yesterday afternoon, he was questioned again by the police, this time in relation to the phantom job given to middleman Melvin Theuma. Other than that, we have been unable to contact him.

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Journalists, including from this newsroom, have gone to his house and rung his doorbell several times over the last week, but the only movement we have seen are his close buddy Neville Gafa’s frequent comings and goings. His phone number has been inaccessible for the last two weeks.

Within this vacuum of information, speculation is mounting that something sinister is being cooked up, or that the course of justice is being perverted once again.

In order to avoid journalists, Muscat is not holding any public events. And Parliament has risen a full two weeks before usual, which means that journalists cannot quiz the prime minister there either.

We have so much to ask him: How can he say that he knew nothing when so much was happening right under his nose, in his very office? Why is Keith Schembri not under arrest? What about Kenneth Camilleri, a former member of the prime minister’s security detail who has also been implicated in the case?

Why did Muscat keep defending Schembri until the very end – the day of his friend’s arrest and interrogation? After all, we are in this mess because the prime minister has consistently refused to take action against his friend.

Are the two still in contact now? What do they talk about? Is Schembri still being fed information from the investigations?

This morning, we will be covering the first leg of Muscat’s farewell tour, but it is highly unlikely that he will stop to speak to us and answer our questions. Even his resignation announcement last week was recorded in the comfort and privacy of Girgenti, away from those pesky reporters.

Muscat is not only refusing to meet the press but has also shunned the constituted bodies and social partners, all of whom are telling him that he must step down immediately.

Just this week, the retailers’ association said the situation had directly led to a 50 per cent drop in sales, and told Muscat, in no uncertain terms, that he should not stay in Castille a day longer.

The damage is already being done and it is up to Muscat to stop it.

Part 1 

 

 

 

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