[WATCH] Muscat insists 17 Black is under investigation, not Keith Schembri

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this morning defended his reasoning for not removing his chief of staff, Keith Schembri, insisting 'the investigation is into the company and not into a specific individual'

Muscat said that when the Times of Malta reported that a magisterial inquiry had been launched into 17 Black they asked the Attorney General to confirm if that was the case
Muscat said that when the Times of Malta reported that a magisterial inquiry had been launched into 17 Black they asked the Attorney General to confirm if that was the case

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat defended his reasoning for not removing his chief of staff Keith Schembri in light of police and magisterial investigation into the company 17 Black. Muscat said that the investigations was not about Schembri himself but rather the Dubai company 17 Black.

“The investigation is into the company and not into a specific individual… let’s let the authorities do their job. If the investigation implicates people involved in politics, it is then that I will take the necessary decisions, as I have in the past. As Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said in Parliament, we were not informed that an investigation was ongoing, as it should be in cases of this nature.”

Muscat was speaking to the press following the launch of GreenPak's new iBiNs scheme.

Muscat said that when the Times of Malta reported that a magisterial inquiry had been launched into 17 Black they asked the Attorney General to confirm if that was the case.

“The Attorney General confirmed it, but only told us investigations are currently ongoing into the company. End of,” he said.

Muscat expressed exasperation at the questioning 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.”

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.

Muscat then turned the conversation to the Nationalist Party. He said that if Schembri should resign before the magisterial investigation has been completed then so should be the case for MP Beppe Fenech Adami and MEP David Casa who are currently being investigated by the FIAU and the EU’s anti-fraud agency OLAF.

 “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” he said.

More in National