The Malta Independent 24 October 2020, Saturday

Keith Schembri: Public has a right to be informed, NGO says

Thursday, 24 September 2020, 12:20 Last update: about 29 days ago

NGO Repubblika said today it believed that the police and the competent authorities have a duty to inform the public about what is happening in the investigations into the alleged crimes in which “the former Chief of Staff of disgraced then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and others are involved”.

In a statement, Repubblika said it appreciated that the investigations are complex, the necessity that things are done properly such that everyone gets what they deserve and the need of utmost confidentiality of any information that may be required to be kept under wraps until the investigations are complete.

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However, the authorities must appreciate the following:

1. The basic facts regarding the alleged crimes have been known since 2017;

2. As was confirmed in testimony during the public inquiry regarding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, for two whole years, the police and the authorities did not want to investigate or react to these alleged crimes;

3. Keith Schembri is no ordinary person:  he was the unelected but most powerful official with effective political influence within the government of Malta between 2013 and 2019;

4. The delays so far raise reasonable suspicions that Keith Schembri and others had plenty of opportunity to hide or destroy evidence that could have been used against them. This suspicion is ever present.

“We expect that at these very delicate moments, clear and comprehensive information is given to all media channels without discrimination, so as to ensure that this investigation is not used in a political game by the political sympathisers of the suspects, in order to ultimately guarantee impunity to the criminals. 

“We know for example, that Brian Tonna and Karl Cini amongst others were arrested by the Police last Monday.  Now that 48 hours have passed, what has happened?

“Who is arrested? Who has been released on police bail?  What are the crimes being investigated?”

The country deserves official answers to these questions, Repubblika said.

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