Greens want urgent debate on Panama follow-up, PANA demands Muscat's presence

Greens ask for emergency discussion on situation in Malta in European Parliament plenary session next week

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Matthew Vella
9 May 2017, 12:23pm
Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Arnold Cassola has announced that the Green Group in the European Parliament will request an urgent debate in plenary, as Prime Minister Joseph Muscat prepares to address MEPs later next week.

Cassola said the decision for the debate ‘Panama Papers follow up: suspicion of money laundering in Malta involving several politically exposed persons’, will be taken on Thursday.

“The damage Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri and Brian Tonna have done to Malta’s reputation is getting worse by the minute. Indeed, following the continuous revelations regarding suspected money laundering in Malta on the part of Keith Schembri and associates, making use of the Pilatus Bank the Green Group in the European Parliament has requested an urgent debate in plenary in the European Parliament next week,” Cassola said.

The Green Party chairperson also published a second letter by PANA committee Werner Langen, who last week called on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to attend the committee and address MEPs.

“Given the recent developments on the matter as regards with the possible involvement of your wife in suspected transactions related to the Panama Papers, the members of the committee have decided to extend the invitation to you,” Langen wrote.

Both Mizzi and Schembri were found to have made use of secret Panama companies in the Panama Papers leak of April 2016; and new evidence presented by Opposition leader Simon Busuttil to a magistrate claims to show Schembri taking a kickback from auditor Brian Tonna, through his Pilatus Bank account, on fees paid to Tonna for the sale of Maltese citizenship. Both men deny the accusation, saying the money was payment for a €100,000 loan made back in 2012, before Labour was in power.

 

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Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.