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International audit firm investigating Mizzi’s Panama company

Muscat does not name company carrying out investigation on Konrad Mizzi’s Panama company but says its an international audit firm

Jurgen Balzan
10 March 2016, 11:37am
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the company carrying out an audit on Konrad Mizzi’s company registered in Panama will be named shortly.

However, in reply to MaltaToday’s questions, he said the company is “an international audit firm which is not based in Malta.”

Muscat confirmed that if “millions or thousands” of euros will be found hidden in Mizzi’s Panama company, the energy and health minister would be sacked immediately.

He also insisted that Panama – a tax haven renowned for its secrecy – will be collaborating in the investigations.

Asked whether Panamagate has turned Mizzi, the Labour Party’s new deputy leader, into a political liabilty, Muscat said “it will become a political liability for the leader of the opposition once the allegations are proven wrong.”

Asked why his chief of staff, Keith Schembri, who also has a Panama registered company refused to face the media, Muscat retorted that former PN prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami’s right hand man Richard Cachia Caruana also shunned the media.

Asked if his right hand man should submit himself to a full tax audit, Muscat said Schembri resigned from the directorships of his companies before becoming his chief of staff and there is no need for him to go under the same scrutiny as Mizzi.

Defending Mizzi and Schembri, Muscat said both men had good intentions and did nothing illegal.

Asked by MaltaToday whether he too was naïve when he said that both men did nothing wrong, Muscat said that Mizzi and Schembri’s advisors had been naïve for advising them to open a shell company in Panama and a trust fund in New Zealand.

Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...