In Daphne’s murder investigation, money trail leads to Montenegro venture

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

In December 2015, 17 Black made a previously undisclosed profit of 4.6 million euros when Malta’s state energy company, Enemalta, bought a wind farm in Montenegro. The purchase came after negotiations and several trips to Montenegro led by Malta’s then energy minister, Konrad Mizzi.

This was revealed through joint investigations by Reuters and the Times of Malta.

According to the details revealed in December 2015, accountants for Mizzi and the prime minister’s then chief of staff, Keith Schembri, wrote in an email that Schembri and Mizzi stood to receive payments from 17 Black for services that weren’t specified.

In the months before Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in 2017, she was on the trail of an offshore company called 17 Black Limited.

In November of last year businessmen, Yorgen Fenech, the owner of 17 Black was accused of complicity in ordering Daphne’s murder.

In April of 2018 Keith Schembri had confirmed to Reuters that companies he owns had devised a “draft business plan” with 17 Black that was not implemented, but he gave no further details.

Also, disgraced former Minister Konrad Mizzi had stated he had no connection to 17 Black.

When asked about his trips to Montenegro, Mizzi replied that his involvement in this project was as Minister responsible for Enemalta, setting overall energy policy. He denied playing part in any corrupt deals.

Reuters reported it has found no evidence that 17 Black made the payments to Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.

Through the international scandal Panama Papers plans by the then Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi and the former chief of Staff at Castille Keith Schembri who were to receive €5,000 a day from the Dubai secret company, 17 Black, owned by Yorgen Fenech, were revealed.