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[WATCH] First-hand account the best form of evidence on Egrant inquiry, PN deputy leader argues

Beppe Fenech Adami said that corruption was the reason the country was going to the polls early and insisted the PN is prepared and will be offering a vision for the country

yannick_pace
Yannick Pace
3 May 2017, 9:21am
PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami insisted that irrespective of whether or not the Labour Party wins the elections, allegation surrounding the company Egrant would remain
PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami insisted that irrespective of whether or not the Labour Party wins the elections, allegation surrounding the company Egrant would remain
First-hand account the best form of evidence on Egrant inquiry, PN deputy leader argues
The Nationalist Party has kept up the pressure on the government over alleged cases of corruption and money laundering stemming from the Panama Papers leaks.

Addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarters, deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami insisted that irrespective of whether or not the Labour Party wins the forthcoming election, allegations surrounding the company Egrant, as well as the dealings of OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri and minister Konrad Mizzi, would not go away.

He said this was especially true given that a whistle-blower had now come forward and testified in front inquiring magistrate Aaron Bugeja.

“Today there is testimony and evidence which has been presented to magistrate that confirms that the ultimate beneficial owner of the company is the Prime Minister’s wife Michelle Muscat,” Fenech Adami said.

Fenech Adami said that after it emerged that the whistle-blower had spoken to the magistrate, she was the subject of a “ferocious attack” by those who were now in a “state of panic.”

The PN deputy leader played excerpts from a The Malta Independent interview with the whistle-blower where she says that she had told the magistrate everything she knew about the case, although when pressed, the woman said she was legally-bound not to admit to having passed on any documents.

“We have a person that has chosen to give testimony to the magistrate, giving all the information she had about the company that belongs to Michelle Muscat and about transactions to a Dubai bank account,” Fenech Adami said. “What better evidence can you have than someone giving a first-hand account.”

He added that since the woman’s interview, and attempts to discredit her, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had remained silent, arguing that it was clear that Muscat had his “back against the wall”.

Fenech Adami also underscored the fact that there was tangible evidence linking Keith Schembri to money transfers from another offshore company owned by Brian Tonna.

“The consultant that set up accounts for Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, at the same time, set up another company for himself,” he said, adding that the company was the same one into which €166,000 were transferred by three Russian individuals seeking to buy Maltese citizenship, and from which subsequent transfers had been made to Keith Schembri.

He said that what had been exposed was a “criminal web” that was run by Muscat, Schembri and Mizzi and which has brought the country to a standstill.

Asked whether the PN felt that issues of corruption alone could lead the country to vote the current administration out of office, Fenech Adami insisted that corruption was ultimately the reason the country finds itself in the middle of an election campaign.  

“The issue is that we are no longer a normal country and that we have a Prime Minister under investigation,” he said.  “If he wins the election the consequence will be that we will have a Prime Minister that is under investigation.”

Beppe Fenech Adami stressed that an election would not solve the country’s crisis with corruption which he said will ultimately also impact the economy.

Despite this, he said the PN would be going to the nation with an electoral programme.

“I have no doubt that in the coming days and week, the nation will understand that the PN has a vision and proposals that will make this a normal country again,” he added.

He said that Maltese people understand that only good governance can guarantee a good quality of life and Muscat was threatening a whole country for his own personal gain.

“Anyone working in the financial services will tell you they are at a cross roads. We are either going to lose everything or we are going to change government and rebuild Malta’s reputation,” he said.

The threat to Malta’s various economic sectors was a real one, he said, and other countries had experienced similar collapses.

“Cyprus was one of them,” he said. “It got a reputation as a haven for criminals, money launderers and politicians carrying out acts of corruption and it resulted in a collapse of the system,” he concluded. 

yannick_pace
Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...