in

The truth and other lies

Former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.

The truth will out, Keith Schembri promised his adoring acolytes, who cried out their unwavering, undying solidarity and support against all the lies and injustices he has had to endure.

He posted this on Facebook, on the eve of his much-anticipated court appearance (since he usually slips out of them at the eleventh hour).

His minions have a rather short memory. It’s not the first time that he made this promise. He never kept it. Not even this time.

Here’s a synopsis of what he said, his truth:

·      Bank of Valletta – BOV (which is majority owned and totally controlled by the government his boss led) leaked information about his personal affairs. Did BOV or Schembri make any police reports? Were there any internal inquiries on the matter by BOV? Should businesses and individuals who have accounts with BOV start worrying?

·      Given the leaks, he felt that it necessary to shift from a normal, local bank to a secret company in Panama, layered under a trust in New Zealand to avoid detection of the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) – himself.

·      He opened the secret company in Panama to do business with 17 Black once he was done with politics. But usually one does not open a company 10 years before he intends using it to do business. Moreover, that’s not what he said in his declaration when setting up the company through Mossack Fonseca, which was that the company would receive funds that same year.

·      It seems that time has jogged his memory, and after years of denial it turns out that he did know who owned 17 Black.

·      Covid-19 gave him an opportunity to ponder and meditate on Melvin Theuma’s appearance at his office which he concluded was unsolicited and impromptu and unconnected with anything to do with the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

·      He was present at a number of briefing meetings in which the Prime Minister was brought up to speed about the investigation by the police, which were also often attended by former Justice Minister Owen Bonnici (as Bonnici, he told us, was close to the Attorney General and to then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat).

·      His boss, the Prime Minister, instructed him to call up a criminal to warn him not to try to escape (though it seems more like a message that he should).

Truth is always in short supply when it comes to Schembri. It boggles the mind how so many people still believe or choose to believe his lies. He walked into the courtroom. He said nothing. He slipped out.

In the meantime, the police are still trying to figure out whether he should be a suspect.

Schembri’s ‘much-awaited truth’ testimony just a smokescreen

Law courts

Leaks from inquiry on migrants’ deaths aided Prime Minister’s political attacks