Karol Aquilina claims Keith Schembri signed secret deal with Sadeen for additional land at Żonqor

Aquilina claims Schembri secretly met with the chairman of Sadeen group and signed a separate 3,000 sq.m land agreement

PN MP Karol Aquilina
PN MP Karol Aquilina

PN MP Karol Aquilina claimed that former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri handed 3,022 sq.m of Żonqor land to Sadeen for free in a secret agreement.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Aquilina said that both Schembri and former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat secretly met with the Sadeen group outside the country, in various occasions.

Parliament is debating a motion to take back land at Żonqor from Sadeen and swap it with a parcel of land at Smart City.

He said that it was Muscat and Schembri that insisted with Sadeen that the Żonqor land was to be included in the American Univeristy deal, and not the Jordanian group.

The 'secret' agreement that Aquilina says was signed by Keith Schembri
The 'secret' agreement that Aquilina says was signed by Keith Schembri

"The idea was that through the specualtion of the Żonqor land, those involved in the deal would make money out of it," Aquilina said.

He alleged that Schembri met with the chairman of Sadeen group, Hani Hasan Salah, on his own on 26 October 2015, three days after the first agreement was signed with the Maltese government. "Behind the parliament's back, Schembri gave Sadeen 3,000 sq.m of virgin land in Żonqor. This was a top secret agreement, which included a clause that if it details of it were revealed, it would be annulled."

He also said that Schembri bound the Maltese Government to give Sadeen another piece of land for a 1,000 student dormitory.

Aquilina questioned how it was possible for Schembri to sign the agreement on behalf of the government.

"He gave them the land completely for free. This is a big scandal and the agreement is still applicable to this day. The Prime Minister should assume responsibility and he should send for Joseph Muscat," Aquilina said.

Aquilina posted the "secret" agreement in a Facebook post soon after his speech.