Op­po­si­tion Leader calls for re­moval of Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schem­bri af­ter 17 Black rev­e­la­tions

Malta Independent - - Front Page - ■ Kevin Schem­bri Orland

Op­po­si­tion Leader Adrian Delia has called for the re­moval of Tourism Min­is­ter Konrad Mizzi and OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schem­bri.

He said that if Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat does not re­move them, then the Op­po­si­tion will not be silent and not stop there.

Delia said that Joseph Mus­cat has a choice, ei­ther to de­fend Malta or de­fend Tourism Min­is­ter Konrad Mizzi and OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schem­bri.

A joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion by The Times of Malta and Reuters has found that lo­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tors were given an in­tel­li­gence re­port nam­ing Elec­trogas di­rec­tor and CEO of the Tu­mas Group Yor­gen Fenech as the owner of 17 Black.

Tu­mas Group is one of the part­ners in the Elec­trogas power sta­tion. The power sta­tion had been pushed by Konrad Mizzi back when he was En­ergy Min­is­ter

17 Black was listed as the ‘Main Client’ and ‘Pos­si­ble Payer/Sender’ of Till­gate and Hearnville, the off­shore Pana­ma­nian com­pa­nies owned by OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schem­bri and Tourism Min­is­ter Konrad Mizzi, leaked emails ob­tained by Ger­man pa­per Süd­deutsche Zeitung, and pub­lished by the Daphne Project pre­vi­ously re­vealed.

Delia said that the me­dia pre­vi­ously re­ported that the FIAU should in­ves­ti­gate money laun­der­ing in the case of the Panama com­pa­nies.

He said Joseph Mus­cat is not do­ing any­thing to de­fend Malta’s rep­u­ta­tion.

He said one fact af­ter an­other is be­ing re­vealed and is dam­ag­ing the is­land’s rep­u­ta­tion and is putting into peril Mal­tese jobs, the fi­nan­cial ser­vices and gaming sec­tors.

He men­tioned the re­cent Euro­pean Bank­ing Author­ity re­port which scolded the Mal­tese FIAU.

Asked by this news­room to clar­ify what ac­tion he will take should Mus­cat not re­move the two, Delia said that they should re­sign at once of their own ac­cord as hap­pens in every sin­gle EU state.

“If not the PM should take that de­ci­sion and re­move them. If he fails to do that then we will act ac­cord­ingly,” he said. Pressed by other sec­tions of the me­dia to high­light ex­actly what ac­tion he would take, he men­tioned that the PN has taken other forms of ac­tion in other sit­u­a­tions, men­tion­ing a num­ber of court cases on other is­sues.

“The PN will act ac­cord­ingly in de­fend­ing Malta’s rights and the workplace for the Mal­tese peo­ple.”

Mus­cat said that govern­ment keeps be­ing silent on scan­dalous is­sues, and prefers to de­fend the peo­ple close to him than the coun­try

Asked for his com­ments about the whole pic­ture, and how it paints the busi­ness com­mu­nity in re­la­tion to ties with govern­ment, he said that his in­ter­est is not the ones who are in busi­ness but the ones who shouldn’t be, “and specif­i­cally mem­bers of govern­ment”.

He said that the Op­po­si­tion is there to pro­mote good and de­cent busi­ness, and that they are also here to sanction the govern­ment when he fal­ters, to point out where they are wrong, to push for ac­tion, re­spon­si­bil­ity, res­ig­na­tions and oth­ers if this is the case.

Asked if the Op­po­si­tion will call for a vote of no con­fi­dence in Mizzi, he said that they will wait for the Prime Min­is­ter to act, and that “his lack of ac­tion will be a mes­sage in it­self.” He said that the PN will not be hes­i­tant or fail in do­ing what is best for the coun­try.

The Tu­mas Group is one of the part­ners in the Elec­trogas power sta­tion. The power sta­tion had been pushed by Konrad Mizzi back when he was En­ergy Min­is­ter.

17 Black was listed as the ‘Main Client’ and ‘Pos­si­ble Payer/Sender’ of Till­gate and Hearnville, the off­shore Pana­ma­nian com­pa­nies owned by OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schem­bri and Tourism Min­is­ter Konrad Mizzi, leaked emails ob­tained by Ger­man pa­per Süd­deutsche Zeitung, and pub­lished by the Daphne Project pre­vi­ously re­vealed.

Keith Schem­bri, in re­ac­tion to the news story, said that 17 Black never be­came clients of his busi­ness group, The Times of Malta re­ported.

“17 Black and MacBridge were in­cluded in draft busi­ness plans for my busi­ness group as po­ten­tial clients. My com­pa­nies make dozens of busi­ness plans such as th­ese.

“How­ever, it is a fact that nei­ther 17 Black nor MacBridge ever be­came clients of my busi­ness group, and no trans­ac­tions were ever recorded with th­ese com­pa­nies, or with me per­son­ally. I have no knowl­edge of the trans­fers re­ferred to, nor any knowl­edge of the al­leged pay­ment,” Schem­bri had pre­vi­ously said.

Mizzi had also is­sued a de­nial, say­ing that there is no con­nec­tion, direct or other­wise, be­tween Mizzi, his com­pany or trust, and any en­tity called 17 Black.

The Times of Malta re­ports that the in­tel­li­gence re­port was com­piled by the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Anal­y­sis Unit (FIAU), and that it looks into en­ergy pro­jects by Mizzi.

An­other source fa­mil­iar with the sub­ject in the United Arab Emirates told Reuters that ac­count records named Fenech as 17 Black’s owner.

Reuters re­ported that it saw bank­ing cor­re­spon­dence that sum­marised 17 Black’s bank­ing ac­tiv­ity in Dubai, the Times of Malta re­ports, adding that the cor­re­spon­dence stated that when a 17 Black bank ac­count was opened in Dubai in June 2015 at Noor bank, the com­pany said it was owned by Yor­gen Fenech.

The re­port reads that the name of 17 Black was changed in March 2017 to Wings De­vel­op­ment. The Times re­ports that Fenech has de­nied hav­ing any links with the Panama com­pa­nies or any po­lit­i­cally ex­posed per­sons, and that he de­clined to comment on whether he owns 17 Black or Wings de­vel­op­ment.

Par­tit Demokratiku called for an im­me­di­ate and thor­ough Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the 17 Black al­le­ga­tions.

It has be­come un­de­ni­able that the rule of law in Malta has bro­ken down de­spite the mas­sive pro­pa­ganda cam­paign by the Govern­ment and its net­work of Yes-Men in key po­si­tions.

Our rot­ted po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is a re­sult of com­pro­mises and eyes be­ing closed by en­ti­ties and irresponsible politi­cians.

Par­tit Demokratiku de­nounced what it de­scribed as “our de­cayed po­lit­i­cal sys­tem”.

In an­other re­ac­tion, Na­tion­al­ist MP Ja­son Az­zopardi chal­lenged the Prime Min­is­ter to sue him for li­bel af­ter call­ing him cor­rupt and of taking kick­backs.

Funds frozen in 17 Black’s ac­count be­long to the Mal­tese peo­ple - David Casa

The iden­tity of the owner of 17 Black was re­vealed fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion on the FIAU re­port David Casa pub­lished in July this year. 17 Black is the Dubai com­pany that was to fun­nel €150,000 monthly to Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schem­bri. Two months ago, David Casa called on Noor Bank to in­ves­ti­gate the ac­tiv­ity of its client - 17 Black. He pro­vided Noor Bank with ev­i­dence of 17 Black’s in­volve­ment in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

The PN’s Head of Del­e­ga­tion in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment David Casa stated: “I have now writ­ten to the UAE Cen­tral Bank to safe­guard those funds and have them sub­se­quently re­turned to the Mal­tese peo­ple. The own­er­ship of 17 Black proves large scale cor­rup­tion and crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in the power sta­tion project. It proves that Keith Schem­bri and Konrad Mizzi are cor­rupt politi­cians steal­ing from the Mal­tese peo­ple. And it proves that our in­sti­tu­tions have been cap­tured to pro­tect them.”

Daphne’s al­le­ga­tions have been cor­rob­o­rated Rezis­tenza Malta

“The news re­gard­ing the com­pany 17 Black cor­rob­o­rates what had been ex­posed by as­sas­si­nated jour­nal­ist Daphne Caru­ana Gal­izia,” Reżis­tenza Malta said in a state­ment. “Malta is in­deed af­flicted by an epi­demic of cor­rup­tion.

“It is ev­i­dent that the vast ma­jor­ity of the Mal­tese in­sti­tu­tions be­trayed the Mal­tese cit­i­zens by al­low­ing a net­work of cor­rup­tion con­nected with in­ter­na­tional or­ga­nized crime to es­tab­lish it­self and flour­ish lo­cally.

“We are ex­pect­ing the Mal­tese Po­lice to ef­fect ar­rests and in­ter­ro­ga­tions, to seek the as­sis­tance of for­eign se­cu­rity ser­vices and above all to iden­tify and pros­e­cute the politi­cians and pub­lic ser­vants who are im­pli­cated in this net­work of crim­i­nal­ity.

“We ap­peal to those in key po­si­tions who still up­hold the val­ues of jus­tice and rule of law to show courage and in­sist for the per­pe­tra­tors to be brought to jus­tice. Cor­rup­tion robs a na­tion from the fu­ture it de­serves.”

Two of the 77 new po­lice of­fi­cers cel­e­brate with an em­brace af­ter their pass­ing out pa­rade yes­ter­day morn­ing at Fort St Elmo.

Pho­tos top and bot­tom: Protest sig­nage put up in De­li­mara yes­ter­day by Reżis­tenza Malta

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