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PN leader regurgitating Schembri claims to make up for Egrant failure - Muscat

Says Schembri had declared and paid taxes on transactions

The Opposition leader knew his allegations on the ownership of Egrant were fake and was trying to regurgitate an old story about Keith Schembri to prolong matters, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning.

His comments were made after Simon Busuttil yesterday said Mr Schembri paid the former managing director of Allied Group Adrian Hillman €650,000 in a "textbook case of bribes and money laundering".

Replying to questions following a news conference this morning, Dr Muscat said the money laundering allegations were "nothing new" and were only intended to put up a show knowing his claims to connect his family with secret Panama company Egrant were fizzling out.

"I would like to get to the bottom of this (the Egrant case). I want to know who was behind it and why it was coordinated in this way," the prime minister said. 

Mr Hillman, left, and Mr Schembri.Mr Hillman, left, and Mr Schembri.

Dr Muscat reiterated that he would take decisions about Mr Schembri “when the time came” but said his chief of staff had already declared he would resign if he was investigated by the police or if there was enough proof for him to be investigated.

He said he was informed that Mr Schembri had declared all the monies mentioned by Dr Busuttil yesterday and paid taxes on them.

Asked whether he believed the FIAU (anti-money laundering agency) report or Mr Schembri, Dr Muscat did not answer the question and kept insisting instead that he wanted to see the Times of Malta inquiry report about Mr Hillman, after he had stepped down in the wake of the Panama Papers. 

Beppe Fenech Adami

Dr Muscat also referred to a challenge he made Dr Busuttil during a university debate yesterday, during which he asked whether his deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami would resign if he was investigated. 

Read: Inquiry confirms investigation stopped abruptly; police to investigate further

He said he had based his challenge on the fact that he had seen the sealed part of the three judges inquiry report and had passed this on for investigation.

The inquiry was into allegations by Malta Today that an investigation into money laundering by an international firm had stopped abruptly when Dr Fenech Adami's name cropped up.

 

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