Updated: ‘I expect to be charged in the coming days’, Keith Schembri says
updated i expect to be charged in the coming days keith schembri says - Updated: ‘I expect to be charged in the coming days’, Keith Schembri says

Former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri expects that he will be charged in court in the coming days over the conclusions of a magisterial inquiry, he wrote on Facebook, while maintaining that he did not do anything wrong.

The post came after Schembri read the conclusions of a magisterial inquiry that was requested by former PN leader Simon Busuttil back in May 2017, over money laundering allegations on him (Schembri) and ex Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman, wherein Schembri had allegedly passed €650,000 on to Hillman through regular €5,000 payments between 2011 and 2015. The inquiry’s conclusions have not yet been published.

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Reports also read that Schembri, together with three of his employees, have filed a constitutional case against the State Advocate, the Attorney General, the Police Commissioner, the Justice Minister and the Criminal Courts’ registrar, claiming breaches of his fundamental human rights in connection with the inquiry. The case was filed after the magistrate who conducted the inquiry reportedly recommended that proceedings be taken against Schembri, among other things.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Schembri slammed the inquiry that was launched into the allegations, calling it a ‘travesty of justice’.

“I expect that in a few days I will be charged. Not because I committed a crime. For the establishment, the ‘crime’ I am guilty of is having formed part of Joseph Muscat’s team that led to a number of electoral victories for the party that I love so much.”

“I hope that the moment will come soon when I can clean my name from all allegations that they have been trying to damage me with.”

He also spoke out against the ‘persecution’ against him and his family that he claims has happened over the past years.

Schembri said that since he resigned in 2019 he hoped he would get to enjoy life after being denied this for 11 years working in politics.

He said that “our employees, our businesses my family including my children and parents, have been the target of political persecution these last months.”

Minn mindu irrizenjajt fl 2019 ħsibt li ser inkun nista’ nkompli ngħix hajti u ngawdi ftit minn dak kollu li iccaħħadt…

Posted by Keith Schembri on Thursday, March 18, 2021

His post began with reference to a situation surrounding a separate issue, that of alleged kickbacks regarding the IIP scheme.  Schembri said that the persecution peaked at midnight on Independence Day 2020, when his children told him that the police were at the door. “They showed me an arrest warrant and searched my home, searched our factories and afterwards took me to the lockup where they strip searched me and threw me into a cell for 14-hours.”

“All of this due to an inquiry launched in April 2017 on an allegation that I received kickbacks from the passport scheme. All of this despite the fact that the magistrate, in the inquiry’s conclusions, said that there was no kickback.” He said that not even the Magistrate believed what Simon Busuttil “invented.”

“Aside from this, the Attorney General’s Office decided to freeze my bank accounts, the accounts of my wife, children and parents, of every company that I am a shareholder in and of a number of employees and their families.”

He said that he has spent 6 months heading to and from the Police depot to answer every question put to him, and that he had no problem doing this.

“Now the 6 months of the freezing of the accounts is about to expire, and in my heart I knew that since they did not manage to break me, that they were going to try again. And I was right. Out of nowhere, after four years of waiting, the conclusions of another inquiry that was opened by Simon Busuttil on alleged bribes that had happened between two private entities in 2008, between Kasco and Progress Press Ltd – the publishers of the Times of Malta, materialised.”

“This inquiry referred to business that happened 13 years ago, when I had nothing to do with politics and includes allegations that I bribed the Progress Press director to win a tender for a printing plant. This, after Progress Press issued a tender in which three companies took part, which was scrutinised by two major auditing firms, from two company boards, and this tender was won as our bid was over €2 million cheaper than the closest competitor.”

Schembri said that the PN has never been able to understand how a labourite, from a family of workers, managed to get into this market, and were not able to accept that a labourite was able to build a strong bridge with the Times of Malta.

He referred to the PN establishment as believing that only it can govern, and that after the major electoral defeats in 2013 and 2017 which worried the PN, they decided to “eradicate him.”

“Who was keeping us informed about the progress of the inquiry? The magistrate or her employees? The AG or the police? No, none of these. It was the journalists of The Shift News!

He said that they made a request to investigate the leak, but nothing came of it.

Schembri said that he read the conclusions of the inquiry and called them a “travesty of justice.”

“To start, the magistrate appointed a certain Miroslova Milenovic as an expert to assist her. This Milenovic seems to be popular with certain people close to the establishment. And who is she? She is or was the Vice President of a Serbian Political Party called Enough is Enough.” He said that Milenovic’s political affiliations put her position as an expert in this inquiry in major difficulty and into question.

What Schembri did not mention is that Miroslova Milenovic, a forensic accountant, was also used during the Egrant inquiry.

Turning to the conclusions of the inquiry, Schembri said that it stayed on the advice of Milenovic and another foreign firm that “I know little about.”

He said that the inquiry recommended that steps can be taken against a large number of individuals, “among them are members of my family including me, against my business partners.”

“The inquiry also recommended that criminal steps be taken against the Times of Malta directors, as according to the inquiry the Times of Malta defrauded Malta Enterprise.”

“I have major reservations about the conclusions of the inquiry. Reservations not only because the conclusions are wrong, but also because I believe that they were not made by coincidence.”

He said that the conclusions are either based on a lack of understanding, or misinformation “which could even be malicious.” He said that the conclusions are perilous for many who are in business.

He said that the conclusions have a hidden hand behind them to cause damage to the government and the party.

 “I expect that in a few days I will be charged. Not because I committed a crime. For the establishment, the ‘crime’ I am guilty of is having formed part of Joseph Muscat’s team that led to a number of electoral victories for the party that I love so much.”

 

“I hope that the moment will come soon when I can clean my name from all allegations that they have been trying to damage me with.”

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