17 Black is under investigation not Keith Schembri, Prime Minister says

The Prime Minister says magisterial inquiry requested by the police was into the Dubai company 17 Black and not his chief of staff

Keith Schembri: The Prime Minister retains full faith in him
Keith Schembri: The Prime Minister retains full faith in him

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is insisting that his chief of staff Keith Schembri is not the subject of a magisterial inquiry requested by the police into Dubai-based company 17 Black.

He was reacting to the revelation made in Parliament on Monday that Magistrate Charmaine Galea was asked by the police to initiate an inquiry into 17 Black, which is separate from the ones requested by members of the Opposition.

Muscat expressed exasperation at the question over 17 Black when confronted by journalists on Tuesday evening just after addressing the Medical Cannabis World Forum in Valletta.

“Who told you that he’s being investigated?” Muscat said. “The inquiry is into 17 Black not Keith Schembri.”

Muscat was asked whether Schembri should resign now that a criminal investigation was underway. Last year, during the election campaign, Muscat had said that his chief of staff would resign immediately if he became subject to a criminal investigation.

17 Black was listed as a target client for the Panama company set up by Schembri. It has now been revealed that 17 Black is owned by Yorgen Fenech, an investor in the Electrogas consortium that built and operates the gas power station.

The Prime Minister said that he retained his full faith in Schembri.

Muscat accused journalists of always attempting to twist his statements and that he was constantly having to repeat them.

"Let us wait for the investigation," he insisted.

More in National

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe