[WATCH] Labour ministers hit out at Busuttil’s business ties

The Labour Party has said it will stand behind the Prime Minister's chief of staff amid kickback allegations raised by Opposition leader Simon Busuttil, while hitting out at the latter's ties to the private sector

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Labour ministers say institutions must be allowed to carry out due process
Tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis, who was addressing a press conference with parliamentary secretary Deborah Schembri, said that the Prime Minister's chief of staff Keith Schembri had denied all the allegations levied against him
Tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis, who was addressing a press conference with parliamentary secretary Deborah Schembri, said that the Prime Minister's chief of staff Keith Schembri had denied all the allegations levied against him

All the country's institutions, including the law courts and the attorney general, had full autonomy to launch any number of investigations into allegations raised by Opposition leader Simon Busuttil, if they felt the cases warranted such action, tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis said on Wednesday. 

Zammit Lewis, who was addressing a press conference with parliamentary secretary Deborah Schembri, said that the Prime Minister's chief of staff Keith Schembri had denied all the allegations levied against him. 

The two said they stood behind Schembri, who had done so much for the country and the Labour Party, adding that no one had presented any evidence against him. 

Zammit Lewis said that Busuttil remained today a shareholder in a number of companies that were benefiting from government contracts. 

He said that Busuttil had resigned as director in July 2013, when he was elected leader of the PN, of GS Limited, which had been set up to act as commission agents and brokers. 

"But Simon Busuttil still retains a 33% shareholding in this company, which has also been bidding for and winning government contracts," he said. 

Zammit Lewis said that Busuttil had entrusted Bailey Audit Services Limited, who had given him a qualified opinion on the 2015 accounts. 

He said GS Limited also owned shares in GS Services Limited, registration C16125, which showed in its 2009 accounts – when Busuttil was still director – a disclaimer of opinion by the same audit firm. 

Zammit Lewis said that GS Services owned shares in turn in Mediterranean Waste Services Limited, registration C28190. 

"While Busuttil was an MEP, he was still a director in these companies and in a role of huge influence," he said. 

Schembri said that Simon Busuttil had become an expert in dirt and waste, as highlighted in the dirty attacks on the Prime Minister and his family. 

She said it was very indicative that even Busuttil's own auditors would not sign off on the accounts of the companies he directed or had a shareholding in. 

"This politician has become synonymous with hypocrisy as he always tries to attack others when his back is to the wall without being able to justify his actions," Schembri said. 

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