The Labour Party’s CEO Randolph Debattista and President Daniel Micallef will wait for the conclusion of magisterial inquiries before he can take a position on whether Keith Schembri should be removed or made to resign following a sensational libel withdrawal.
“No one is excluded from the scrutiny of the law. I understand that Keith Schembri has already answered these questions in a magisterial inquiry. As I have always done, I will wait for the conclusion of inquiries,” Debattista told Lovin Malta.
“I have total faith in our country’s institutions and will await the outcome of the ongoing inquires, where Mr. Schembri has and is collaborating and answering the respective questions,” Micallef said.
Schembri finds himself under significant pressure once again, after he withdrew a libel suit he instigated himself rather than be cross-examined on the infamous company, 17 Black. The libel was iniated in 2016 after Simon Busuttil said that Schembri was corrupt during a speech.
He first battled tooth and nail against his testimony, however, he eventually opted for the nuclear option, which has led to renewed calls for his resignation.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has once again backed his embattled Chief of Staff, with Busuttil delivering stinging criticism of the pair in parliament this evening.
What is 17 Black?
With the help of leaked documents given to Daphne Caruana Galizia before her death, The Daphne Project uncovered that 17 Black was one of two companies which were supposed to transfer money to Schembri’s and Konrad Mizzi’s Panamanian companies.
Leaked documents from the FIAU also showed how 17 Black received over €1 million in payments from Mario Pullicino, the Maltese agent of the LNG tanker in Delimara, and an Azeri national.
After years of suspense, the owner of 17 Black was revealed to be none other than Yorgen Fenech, an investor in Electrogas, the consortium running the Delimara power station.