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Get friendly. The Prime Minister’s chief of staff has opened a Facebook account

Keith Schembri has opened a Facebook account after a year during which his public life was under intense media scrutiny due to the Panama Papers revelations

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
5 January 2017, 8:15pm
The Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, opened a Facebook account Friday morning, after having spent weeks away from his intensive duties towards the end of 2016 while convalescent following a health scare.

It is another step in Schembri’s process to return to the public arena, after a year during which his secret offshore Panama account was revealed by the ICIJ leak in the Panama Papers, along with that of minister Konrad Mizzi’s.

His personal account includes his official photo.

Schembri has been present on Twitter since taking public office in 2013.

He currently has just under 350 friends on his first full day on Facebook – among them are ministers, OPM staff and political appointees, as well as ministerial communications coordinators, and Labour activists.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is not yet his ‘friend’. Neither is minister Konrad Mizzi, with whom he used Mossack Fonseca’s services in Panama to open an offshore company and trust in New Zealand.

Schembri, the chief strategist of Labour’s 2013 election campaign, is a businessman with a dominant stake in Malta’s paper and printing markets. He was appointed chief of staff to Joseph Muscat after his election victory, but in 2016 had to face the deepest ever form of media scrutiny due to the Panama Papers revelations.

In recent weeks, Schembri had to undergo medical treatment and spend some time in recovery. He made a public appearance at the press conference where the Prime Minister announced the liberation of the hostages on the Afriquiyah Airways flight hijacked by two men claiming to be supporters of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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