Lawyer Pawlu Lia renounces brief for Keith Schembri

Long-standing lawyer rencounces brief for former chief of staff Keith Schembri

Former chief of staff Keith Schembri
Former chief of staff Keith Schembri

One of Keith Schembri’s long-standing lawyers has renounced his brief, less than two weeks after another lawyer did the same.

Lawyer Pawlu Lia formally renounced his brief with regards to Keith Schembri on December 5, according to court records, after the former OPM Chief of Staff was named in the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. On December 2, lawyer Andrew Sciberras had also dropped Schembri as a client in a separate libel suit.

In recent days, Lia’s daughter in law, Magistrate Nadine Lia, has come under fire after she was appointed to investigate a phantom government job allegedly awarded to Melvin Theuma, with PN MP Jason Azzopardi calling for her to recuse herself, on Facebook.

In recent weeks, the magistrate had already accepted to recuse herself from hearing the evidence against Yorgen Fenech by dint of her marital ties to the lawyer.

But Lia has not appeared for Schembri in some time. The last two libels he dealt with had been pending since 2016 and 2017, well before all of the recent developments. Since then, Schembri has always been assisted by lawyers Edward Gatt and Mark Vassallo. Pawlu Lia was called upon for assistance in the last sitting of the 17 Black libel case “presumably on account of his experience in libels,” one lawyer, who asked not to be named, said. Lia had not been present for any sittings in that case since May 2018, he said.

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