Keith Schembri fails to reply, again

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri failed to reply to questions sent by Newsbook.com.mt regarding the Dubai-based company 17 Black. Newsbook.com.mt asked Schembri when did he testify before an inquiring magistrate, before which magistrate did he testify and in which inquiry did he testify.

Schembri said that he regretted ceding the libel case against former Opposition leader and Partit Nazzjonalista leader Simon Busuttil, avoiding having to testify under cross-examination. Presiding Magistrate Victor Axiaq ordered Schembri to reply to questions put forward by lawyers appearing for Busuttil.

17 Black: Schembri withdraws libel suit

When asked about Schembri, Muscat said that his chief of staff replied to questions put forward by the inquiring magistrate.

The questions were sent to Schembri five days ago, to date, they remain unanswered. The same set of questions were sent to OPM’s Head of Communications Matthew Carbone.

Ongoing inquiries about 17 Black

In July 2017, Magistrate Ian Farrugia ordered an inquiry into Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and Schembri over money laundering allegations, following the Panama Papers leak.

17 Black: PM ready to resign if inquest finds him connected

In November 2018, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici told the House of Representatives that a magisterial inquiry into 17 Black was underway.

17 Black

In a joint investigation, Reuters and the Times of Malta had revealed that the mysterious company was owned by Electrogas director Yorgen Fenech. Fenech is also the CEO of Tumas Group.

Slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had first teased about the mysterious company in February 2017.

Emails published showed financial advisors Nexia BT explain how 17 Black was named as a “target client” of the Panama companies set up for Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.

Read more from this story:

17 Black: Up to €8m passed through the company says Reuters to Newsbook

“I don’t know anything about 17 Black or Macbridge” – Mizzi

17 Black: “No evidence of an inquiry”; “Electrogas whistleblower spoke out”

17 Black legal spat forces Schembri-Busuttil case to be adjourned

’17 Black is of great importance to the European Parliament’ – Casa

17 Black: PM ready to resign if inquest finds him connected