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Watch: Muscat will resign if he is implicated in 17 Black wrongdoing

Prime Minister says he does not interfere in his chief of staff's business affairs

Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Friday that he would resign if investigations into 17 Black found any wrongdoing on his part.

Fielding questions from the media, Dr Muscat declined to say if he had sought verification from his chief of staff Keith Schembri about who owns 17 Black.

A joint investigation by the Times of Malta and Reuters found the Dubai company is owned by power station investor Yorgen Fenech, who is the CEO of Tumas Group.

Mr Schembri said in an April statement that he had “draft business plans” with 17 Black.

Asked if he had questioned Mr Schembri about these plans, the Prime Minister said he did not interfere in his chief of staff’s business affairs.

Dr Muscat said he was informed that Mr Schembri had always cooperated with the authorities when asked to do so.

The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit requested a police investigation into Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi’s energy deals earlier this year. Mr Fenech was identified as 17 Black's owner in this report.

Dr Muscat argued he had every right to appeal the start of the 17 Black inquiry, as he had been dragged into something he had nothing to do with.

Asked if he believed Keith Schembri's and Dr Mizzi’s version of events, Dr Muscat said what he believed was irrelevant.

“What I believe is irrelevant, those investigating have to believe them”, he said.

A leaked e-mail authored by OPM consultants Nexia BT revealed that Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi planned to receive $2 million through their secret Panama companies from 17 Black and another Dubai company of unknown ownership called Macbridge.

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