The Malta Independent 26 September 2020, Saturday

Robert Abela must explain lack of action against Konrad Mizzi, Karl Cini – Adrian Delia

Friday, 22 May 2020, 19:39 Last update: about 5 months ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela is "running out of time" to explain the lack of investigations or action taken against former minister and current government backbencher Konrad Mizzi and Nexia BT's Karl Cini amongst others, PN Leader Adrian Delia said on Friday.

Speaking in a press conference, Delia said that Abela must chose between protecting those who blemished Malta's name and preserving Maltese jobs and businesses.

He said that Abela needs to explain why nothing was done to people who damaged the country's reputation such as Konrad Mizzi, who, he said, is still escaped from the country, Karl Cini, and Nexia BT - noting that Nexia were given a license to work in cryptocurrency just lst week.

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"This government, it seems, does not want to be honest and transparent", Delia said. He further lamented that the government has now re-diverted to Joseph Muscat to consult with on the economy.

"It's like in Russia when you have a President and a Prime Minister who swap places. Joseph Muscat was Prime Minister, Robert Abela was his consultant - now the places have simply been switched around", he said.

His words came as he and PN MP Mario De Marco spoke of the importance of not failing the upcoming Moneyval test.  Moneyval - the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism - will be in Malta in September to give its final assessment.

Malta had failed the initial assessment and was given a year to rectify its wrongs in this field or risk being greylisted. De Marco said that this failure had not come from nothing, before reeling through the various controversies related to Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri, Pilatus Bank, and Satabank amongst others.

De Marco said that these international warnings must be addressed as soon as possible, as not doing so could break the financial services sector - which provides 6% of the country's GDP and employs 12,000 people. In this regard, the Opposition appealed to the government to determine what action needs to be taken as shown by Moneyval; to seriously and in a non-partisan manner strengthen the human resources of regulators and institutions; to give autonomy to regulators so that they are truly independent in their investigations and actions and not reliant on the government; to be close to the stakeholders in this sector; and to retain transparency in how the shortcomings identified by Moneyval are being addressed.He said that this is a moment where the way forward is as one country, and added that the people deserve, especially in this time of uncertainty, peace of mind when it comes to the economy and their employment. 

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