AG refuses to publish inquiry into kickbacks from selling of passports

Updated 04:13 PM

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg has refused to hand over a copy of the inquiry report into allegations of bribery between Keith Schembri and Brian Tonna to Simon Busuttil.

Advocate Jason Azzopardi appearing on behalf of Simon Busuttil, published the letter he received from Buttigieg, who wrote that “The minutes have been examined and in the current circumstances, no copy of the minutes will be released in this stage. “

Fuq struzzjoni ta’ Dr Simon Busuttil, qed nippubblika l-ittra li l-AG bghatitli biex tghidli li ghax Simon Busuttil…

Posted by Jason Azzopardi on Monday, September 14, 2020

This morning, former PN leader Simon Busuttil requested the Attorney General to publish the report of the magisterial inquiry on the allegations of corruption and money laundering by Keith Schembri and Nexia BT director Brian Tonna.

In a post on Facebook the PN MP, lawyer Jason Azzopardi said that he made the request, as a lawyer, on behalf of the former PN leader Simon Busuttil who has demanded the inquiry back in April 2017.

Azzopardi said that Simon Busuttil and himself were not aware that the inquiry has been concluded.

Nikteb bhala l-avukat ta' Dr Simon Busuttil u dan fuq struzzjonijiet tieghu.Dalghodu jien ktibt lil Avukat Generali…

Posted by Jason Azzopardi on Monday, September 14, 2020

Jason Azzopardi said on Facebook that he expected the AG, Victoria Buttigieg to publish the inquiry just as a copy of the report of the Egrant inquiry was also handed to Dr Busuttil when it was concluded.

The proceedings in court were not open to the public or the press.

The inquiry had to establish if the former chief of staff at Castille, Keith Schembri received €100,000 in kickbacks on passport sales from the Nexia BT director Brian Tonna. The inquiry was based on an FIAU report that was leaked. 

On Facebook PN MEP, David Casa has also appealed to the AG to immediately publish the magisterial inquiry. Casa noted how the report on the Egrant inquiry was immediately handed to the then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat unlike the magisterial inquiry into the corruption and money laundering allegations on Schembri and Tonna. MEP David Casa said that the report should be published in its entirety.

L-inkjesta maġisterjali dwar l-allegat tixħim bejn Keith Schembri u Brian Tonna lesta. Ir-rapport ġie ffinalizzat….

Posted by David Casa on Monday, September 14, 2020

‘Publish the report in its entirety’ – PN

On behalf of the Nationalist Party, MP Karol Aquilina said that AG Dr Victoria Buttigieg should immediately publish the report on the inquiry into the allegations that Keith Schmebri received kickbacks from the selling of passports. The PN in a statement notes how Schmebri was the right hand of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Aquilina goes on to explain how former Opposition leader, Simon Busuttil, demanded an inquiry over a leaked FIAU report on the allegations that Keith Schembri received €100,000 in kickbacks on passport sales from the Nexia BT director Brian Tonna. Allegedly kickbacks were from the selling of the Maltese passport to three Russian citizens, said Aquilina.

The PN said that it expects the newly appointed AG, Victoria Buttigieg,  to recognise that her predecessor, Dr Peter Grech failed to act on the Egrant report and appealed to Dr Buttigieg to lead by example and publish the report in its entirety.

Transperency is essential -CSN

The Civil Society Network, CSN, is appealing for the entire publication of the newly concluded inquiry into kickbacks from the sale of Maltese citizenship, an inquiry to which Keith Schembri and Brian Tonna were subjected.

“These two were protagonists in the corrupt saga that gripped Malta under Joseph Muscat, even from before the Panama Papers. The sale of Maltese passports was not done transparently and was terminated due to the serious concerns it raised. Whether Keith Schembri benefited from this scheme should absolutely be in the public domain since it concerns public money taken illicitly from Maltese passports from public officials,” said CSN

CSN sustains that transparency is essential to ensure accountability on who had to resign because of crystal clear evidence of corruption and crime. The anti-corruption NGO stated that it is shamed that hijacked constitutional institutions continue to protect Joseph Muscat and his associates.