Sven Giegold
Member of the European Parliament – Greens/EFA Group

Speaker of the German Green Delegation

Malta/Caruana Galizia: Assets of Keith Schembri and Brian Tonna frozen. Pressure shows effect

Dear friends, dear interested,

Finally, something is moving in the fight against corruption in Malta. Yesterday it became known that the assets of Keith Schembri, the Head of Cabinet of ex-Prime Minister Muscat, companies in his possession and the assets of his accountants at Nexia BT (Brian Tonna and Karl Cini) were frozen. The reason given was the strong suspicion of money laundering. Nexia BT played a key role not only in questionable shell companies, but also in the sale of citizenship and visas.

Already in 2016, the Panama Papers had shown that Schembri and Tonna were involved in money laundering via offshore companies without any robust investigation by the Maltese police.

The fact that action is now finally being taken against Schembri and his accomplices is good news. It shows that the pressure exerted by Maltese civil society after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia is having an effect. The international media publications of the Daphne Project have also made a decisive contribution to this. We have been to Malta several times with delegations of the European Parliament and have repeatedly pressed for investigations. Tonna, Cini and Nexia BT had always refused all requests for talks from us MEPs. It has now become clear that our persistence was right.

The investigation of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the fight against corruption is far from over with the action against Schembri and his accomplices. All those involved must be investigated and held responsible. Far too little is still happening, and too slowly. Above all, however, impunity for money laundering and corruption is systemic. Solving individual cases does not solve the problem. Malta needs fundamental institutional reforms to strengthen the rule of law.

In the European Parliament we will continue to monitor developments in Malta closely and use all means available to contribute to the clarification of the situation.

With European greetings,

Sven Giegold

Report of the Times of Malta: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/court-orders-freeze-on-all-assets-held-by-keith-schembri-brian-tonna.819553

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