[WATCH] Schembri and Mizzi were bribed to dish out Electrogas contract, new NGO declares

Former PN stalwarts strike out with Repubblika civil society movement, calling for resignation of Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat and his chief of staff Keith Schembri and tourism minister Konrad Mizzi

All smiles: from left, Manuel Delia, Robert Aquilina, Karl Camilleri, Marion Pace Asciak, and right, Sammi Davis
All smiles: from left, Manuel Delia, Robert Aquilina, Karl Camilleri, Marion Pace Asciak, and right, Sammi Davis
[WATCH] Schembri and Mizzi were bribed to dish out Electrogas contract, new NGO declares

A newly-formed organisation fronted by veteran PN stalwarts has openly accused the chief of staff of Maltese prime minister Keith Schembri and tourism minister Konrad Mizzi of having been bribed to grant to the Electrogas consortium its power station contract in 2014.

“Repubblika expresses its anger in reaction to yesterday’s statement by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat that justified his decision to retain in office his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Minister Konrad Mizzi,” the NGO said Wednesday morning in an opening press statement.

The founding members of Repubblika are Robert Aquilina – the brother of Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina; former Democratic Party official Karl Camilleri; Occupy Justice activists Simon Sansone, Sammi Davis and Pia Zammit; the former PN candidate and ministerial aide Manuel Delia; Awturi activist Alexander Hili; veteran PN stalwarts Marion Pace Asciak, and Joe Pace Asciak. 

Marion Pace Asciak, former PN administrative council member and former president of the PN’s women’s section, is the interim chairperson of Repubblika.

The NGO said it had now been established that 17 Black, a Dubai company believed to be owned by Electrogas shareholder Yorgen Fenech of Tumas Group, was identified as a target client for the Panama companies set up by Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri through Nexia BT and Mossack Fonseca.

“There is no scope for a criminal investigation unless it is to take criminal action on the basis of these established facts. Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi have been bribed to grant to Electrogas the power station contract,” Repubblika said today.

“The immediate resignation of Keith Schembri is not merely necessary because Joseph Muscat promised it. It is needed because his position of power threatens in practice and in a tangible manner the police officers and the institutions that might dare do their job and arrest him. This is abuse of power.” 

Repubblika also accused Muscat of “harbouring people from the actions of the law and obstructing justice by keeping them near him in the most powerful executive office of the land.” 

The organisation said that Muscat’s own supporters “are also feeling grave doubts” and could not understand why Joseph Muscat is not even prepared to consider the removal of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. “We submit that Joseph Muscat’s behaviour makes his own position untenable. He himself is abusing his own power and amputating justice.” 

Despite their former political background, the new civil society movement has insisted its values will be better represented through the newly formed organisation.

The movement's chairperson, former PN administrative council member Marion Pace Asciak, was asked whether the movement represented a faction of the Nationalist Party which did not approve of Adrian Delia as current party leader. “If we are truly a republic that respects the values of accountability, justice and democracy, and we as a movement feel the duty to act, I find no problem in doing so,” Pace Asciak said. 

Pace Asciak, who also led the PN’s women’s section and presented a programme on party station 101, stressed on the movement’s lack of affiliation with any of the country’s political parties. “We have nothing against the other NGOs and we may be working with them in the near future,” Pace Asciak said, referring to Occupy Justice. “Why not have other movements? Is there a limited number? We have the liberty of expression and we felt the need to form this movement and strengthen the other NGOs,” she said. 

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