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Magistrate Josette Demicoli to lead new Keith Schembri inquiry

Magistrate Josette Demicoli will lead new inquiry into complaint brought by PN leader Simon Busuttil against the PM's chief of staff Keith Schembri

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
25 May 2017, 6:14pm
OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri
OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri
Magistrate Josette Demicoli will lead a new inquiry into complaint brought by PN leader Simon Busuttil against the PM's chief of staff Keith Schembri, after Magistrate Aaron Bugeja issued a decree saying that the complaint did not fall within the terms of reference of the complaint he had recieved on the Egrant allegations.

The evidence concerns accusations by PN leader Simon Busuttil, that the prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri paid €650,000 to the former Allied Group managing director Adrian Hillman through an offshore company between 2011 and 2015, which Busuttil claims is a “textbook case of money laundering”.

Schembri’s Kasco Group supplied Allied with newsprint during this time period.

Busuttil insisted on taking his evidence to Magistrate Bugeja, a move that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described as a delaying tactic to bog down the Egrant inquiry.

Since the allegations of Busuttil went beyond the parameters of the Egrant inquiry, Magistrate Bugeja forwarded it to a randomly-selected magistrate to take up the inquiry.

“As happened in the first case, the Opposition leader took evidence with him that has nothing to do with the lie concocted about the prime minister and his family,” the OPM said in a statement earlier this week “The magistrate also warned the Opposition leader that he had avenues other than that of taking his report to the magistrate. This confirms that the Opposition leader is only playing for time to cover up his own lies.”

While PN leader Simon Busuttil has said that the Egrant inquiry is likely not to be finished before the 3 June election, Magistrate Bugeja is said to be seeking international verification of the allegations.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.