Busuttil will summon 17 Black e-mail author Cini to testify

Busuttil will summon 17 Black e-mail author Cini to testify

In this file photo, Simon Busuttil (centre) is seen exiting court.

In this file photo, Simon Busuttil (centre) is seen exiting court.

Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has vowed to summon Nexia BT’s Karl Cini to testify in a libel case linked to the Panama Papers and 17 Black.

In an e-mail to Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, Mr Cini had said 17 Black would send up to $2 million to the companies owned by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.

Mr Cini had been summoned to testify in a libel suit by Dr Mizzi against Dr Busuttil but, a few days ago, the minister unexpectedly decided to drop all libel proceedings he had initiated linked to the Panama Papers.

Read: ‘I was damn right. Konrad Mizzi is corrupt’: Busuttil says as minister drops libel cases

Dr Mizzi has testified in court he had absolutely no link to 17 Black.

In comments to the Times of Malta, Dr Busuttil said Mr Cini’s testimony was crucial to expose Dr Mizzi’s “lies”.

“It is not over. We will still summon Cini to court in the separate libel cases the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, had filed against me. Unless, of course, Schembri will follow the lead of his fellow Cabinet member and business partner Konrad Mizzi and run away from justice too,” Dr Busuttil said. Mr Schembri did not respond to a request for comment.

A joint investigation by the Times of Malta and Reuters found that power station investor Yorgen Fenech owned 17 Black. Mr Schembri has admitted to having “draft business plans” with 17 Black but denies knowing who owned the company. The Prime Minister never answered questions about whether he quizzed his top aide about such “draft plans”.

Dr Busuttil said Dr Mizzi’s latest antics were just some in a long line of actions spanning three years. He said Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi had done everything possible to resist, stall, oppose, block and run away from justice, with the full complicity of the Prime Minister.

Dr Busuttil said the two men were using their position of power to protect themselves from investigation and prosecution.

“Sooner or later, justice will catch up with them,” he said.

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