Keith Schembri drops libel case against claims he received €750,000 in offshore company

Former prime minister's chief of staff Keith Schembri cedes libel suit against The Malta Independent over claims a British Virgin Islands company of his received €750,000

Keith Schembri has dropped a libel suit against story in The Malta Independent that he had received a quarter of a million euros into a secret British Virgin Islands company
Keith Schembri has dropped a libel suit against story in The Malta Independent that he had received a quarter of a million euros into a secret British Virgin Islands company

Former Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri, has withdrawn a libel suit he had filed against The Malta Independent over a story which claimed that his company in the British Virgin Islands had received €750,000 in 2014.

Magistrate Victor Axiaq was told this afternoon that Schembri himself had signed a note withdrawing the libel suit, four days after his lawyer had renounced the brief.

The Independent’s lawyer, Peter Fenech had not been made aware of this development. Fenech only got to know that the libel case had been ceded when he turned up for the hearing. 

The story “Three quarters of a million transferred into PM’s Chief of Staff BVI company in 2014” was published on September 15, 2016. 

At the previous sitting in December, Schembri had not made an appearance in court, and his lawyer, Andrew Sciberras, had formally declared that he was no longer representing the man.

Today, nearly two months later, the defendants learned that Schembri had personally signed a formal note in which he ceded the case, “without reservation.” Magistrate Axiaq declared that, in view of the note, he was no longer taking cognisance of the case and declared it closed.

Schembri resigned from his government position as Chief of Staff at the OPM in November, following revelations stemming from the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation.

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