“Schembri appointed as Minister despite multiple failures” – Delia

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia stated that Minister Silvio Schembri has been appointed Minister despite multiple failures. The failures detailed by Delia were the fact that he awarded a contract to Adrian Hillman, and the fact that not a single company is licensed in Malta as a cryptocompany.

Delia said this while addressing a political activity in Sannat, Gozo.

The PN leader explained how Parliamentary Secretary Clayton Bartolo ordered the termination of contract given to Adrian Hillman with the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Thursday evening, the Parliamentary Secretary tweeted that Adrian Hillman has been taking payments intended for a private company through consultancies from the Malta Gaming Authority.

In June last year, the MGA had appointed Hillman to manage the reputation of the Authority even though he is subject of a magisterial inquiry on allegations of money laundering.

Back in 2016 Daphne Caruana Galizia had revealed how Adrian Hillman had been paid the sum of €650,000 from Keith Schembri, who back then was the Chief of Staff of the then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. After the story emerged through the Panama Papers scandal, Hillman resigned from all top positions including his positions at Allied Newspapers. Both Hillman and Schembri are facing a magisterial inquiry on money laundering.

Delia explained that Silvio Schembri has been promoted to Minister for Economy, Investment and Small Business. This comes after Schembri having served as Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation. Delia then said that Schembri awarded the contract to Hillman in the first place, and yet was promoted. Furthermore, Schembri was responsible for the implementation of Malta’s Blockchain Strategy, and yet, not a single company is licensed in Malta as a cryptocompany.

“Lawrence Cutajar is a criminal; why is he now a consultant?”

Continuing on the same thread of undeserved promotions, Delia spoke of Lawrence Cutajar, the now ex-Police Commissioner.

He said that Cutajar was harbouring a criminal (Yorgen Fenech) with his inaction and therefore was a criminal himself. Delia then added that yet, after his resignation, Cutajar was appointed as a consultant on public safety and logistics to the Home Affairs Ministry.

PN Spokesperson Beppe Fenech Adami has said that the impression given by Cutajar was that police were being selective on who to prosecute or not, even if the persons in question completely destroyed Malta’s reputation abroad.

Along this same theme, Delia then went into explaining how the PN drafted a policy regarding the appointment of the new Police Commissioner, and presented it in Parliament. Robert Abela shot it down, stating that the draft policy is not in line with the Venice Commission. However, reputed figures such as former European Court of Human Rights Judge Giovanni Bonello have confirmed that the policy is in line with the Venice Commission.