Opposition MP publishes secret agreement between Keith Schembri and AUM’s Sadeen Group

Smart City land swap approved by parliament

 

Updated to include Karol Aquilina’s statement

During a stormy plenary session in Parliament on Wednesday, Opposition MP Karol Aquilina published a copy of what he claims is a secret agreement between Joseph Muscat’s disgraced former chief of staff  Keith Schembri and Sadeen Education Investment Ltd that promised free parcels of land in Żonqor to the Jordanian developers behind the American University of Malta (AUM).

Despite the shocking allegations, the government passed two motions returning land given to AUM in Bormla to the public and providing the group with a campus at Smart City in Kalkara — a land-swap that granted AUM the right to buy some 31,500 square metres of public land at Smart City for the ridiculous price of €0.47c per square metre, despite being in breach of its original five-year licence to operate the university.

The part of the plenary session debating the land swap motions saw heated speeches from both sides of the House, with both government and Opposition MPs repeatedly breaching parliamentary rules of conduct, shouting across the room and talking over one another.

In spite of the Opposition’s efforts to stop it, the motions were approved by the House of Representatives.

Referring to multiple secret agreements, Aquilina published one of the documents on Facebook, accusing the government of orchestrating “a major scandal” that was planned entirely “behind Parliament’s back”.

According to Aquilina, the agreements between Schembri and Sadeen Education Investment Ltd were signed in secret in between 23 – 25 October, 2015, with Schembri acting as an unauthorized representative of the Maltese government.

The document states that Schembri guarantees the company a 3,000 square metre plot of land over and above the 90,000 square metres that were originally promised in Żonqor, as well as another parcel of land that would be large enough to accommodate a 1,000 bed dormitory that the company hoped to build.

“This agreement states that these parcels of land would not cost them absolutely anything, it was given to them for free,” Aquilina said.

“You should be ashamed, treating public land in this manner,” he said, “throwing it away for free, negotiating it secretly and behind this Parliament’s back, and then showing up here today pretending you’re doing something spectacular by giving back the land in Żonqor.”

Aquilina also claimed that conceding a total of almost 100,000 square metres land in Żonqor wasn’t even the company’s idea, but was originally the brainchild of Schembri and disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

The MP further outlined how the published agreement was considered “top secret”, with Clause Five of the agreement stating:

“This Document shall remain strictly and absolutely private and confidential between the Parties. The publication or otherwise disclosure of in any manner by Sadeen of this Document, including the confirmation of its existence, even inadvertently or in good faith, shall bring about the immediate ipso jure full, absolute and irrevocable rescission of the commitments herein outlined”.

Aquilina asked Prime Minister Robert Abela if he planned to shoulder responsibility, and if he would call on Joseph Muscat to do the same.

“Change your route and cancel the entire agreement,” the MP said, “and if you do so, the result will be that this public land, which was not used for education at all but was only used for speculation will be returned to the public.”

Aquilina later issued another statement on Facebook adding a document signed by former Economy Minister Chris Cardona. “With this letter the Maltese government gave Sadeen a gift of between €2.5 million and €3 million,” he wrote. “This is in addition to the contract I unveiled in parliament last Wednesday” which was first published “without the floor plan” by Lizzie Eldridge in November 2021 in an article on Manuel Delia’s blog.

“It is incredible how after all this time the government is still hiding all these documents from the Maltese and Gozitan people,” Aquilina wrote, “and Robert Abela is continuing with this work.”

                           
                               
guest
16 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
carlos
1 month ago

The corrupt lot at the muvument are a bunch of puppets and crooks and the Maltese majority are spinless or corrupt otherwise, after all these revelations, we should all be demonstrating day and night. Malta is being run by the MAFIA.

M.Galea
M.Galea
1 month ago

That is how the dirty politicians filled their pockets with millions!

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 month ago

Well done to MP Aquilina. Let us make sure that the agreement is nullified by manifesting discontent in streets, whilst taking legal action in Malta and elsewhere if need be. During the course of this legislature, the opposition, together with the support of civil society and unions will have to react concretely, where actions would speak louder than words. It is the only way to make this highly cortupt Government listen. Otherwise it will be the true end of our democratic society. Believe me, this Government has lost the plot and many more people will continue to realize this sooner or later. But everyone has to do his part. God bless our country.

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago

The fear now is that the PL (Political Looters) for their own benefit (Panama Papers) have not only given this great gift to so-called business friends.

How disgusting is this going to get, ROBBER Abela, before you resign in disgrace?

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
1 month ago

Well done Karol.
The problem is that all government members are GUILTY of complicity in covering up for this Highway robbery by Joseph Muscat and his crooks, and have ALL created a criminal annuity for life, which keeps being covered up with the criminal partnership of impunity by Angelo Gafa’ and Victoria Buttigieg.
Let’s not forget that Robert Abela was the consultant of Joseph Muscat, and may have and still is, benefiiting from illicit earnings to maintain his ‘criminal’ part in this deal.
Dubai must be the logistics of their treasure.
May they and their families choke in the sleaze of their eternal greed.

James
James
1 month ago

The parallels between events in the UK and Malta are there for all to see. Both countries have Prime Ministers who have no problem lying to Parliament and the electorate and who have no sense of morality or ethics.

Both claim they have a clear mandate from the electorate to govern and it will be interesting to see which PM is the first to resign in disgrace when democratic principles are applied and their untenable positions are recognised as should happen in a democracy.

John Bonnici
John Bonnici
1 month ago

Anyone has the BALLS to get the people out on the streets ????

carlos
1 month ago
Reply to  John Bonnici

I wonder. It’s the opposition’s duty to call for mass rallies. They were elected to protect the Constitution and the rule of law.

D. Borg
D. Borg
1 month ago

The PN so endowed with advocates – is expected to file an urgent injunction against such blatant abuse – and hold personally responsible for damages, all MPs who have voted in favour, all Cabinet members, and all the executive heads of the public institutions which should be actively investigating such abuse of the nation’s assets.
This misappropriation of public land exceeds by far, the cost of a supposedly freebie family holiday in Dubai!

jingo
jingo
1 month ago

Where is this island going?

Catherine Desira
Catherine Desira
28 days ago
Reply to  jingo

It is not going anywhere. It has already reached its final destination: THE PITS/HELL.

Albert Rossi
Albert Rossi
1 month ago

All those involved in this grand scale scandal (certainly Muscat, Schembri, Abela) should not only be held politically responsible, but they should also face criminal charges and made to cough up all that they stole up to the last cent.

Gaetano Pace
Gaetano Pace
28 days ago
Reply to  Albert Rossi

This is what no one wants to understand. A member of the Malta Parliament is immune to any sort of Criminal Action. Instead they are given a blanket cover under the ridiculous, comic gimmick of POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY. We now have concrete, steel, numerous examples given as illustration of this gimmick by Joseph Keith and Konrad. They are shouldering the feather weight of their political responsibility. They are gone true. But it is also the more so, they are carrying the heavy weight of their corruption being the MULTI MILLIONS OF CORRUPTION which they had been concocting from the 4th Floor of the NEW MOVEMENT OF LOOTERS and the advice of ROBBER ABELA. They have taken the country out of the FRYING PAN INTO THE TORCH FIRE.

carmelo borg
1 month ago

Xi hmieg mhux kull jum İMMA kull minuta. dawn in nies qedghdin jawmu fid DEMEL ZGURR

pierre schembri-wismayer
pierre schembri-wismayer
1 month ago

We get what we voted for …. crooks selling off our country to more crooks so long as some underhand dealings give them more money to win future elections and line their pockets and buy favours. Living in 1980s Kenya…Arap Moi!!!

Catherine Desira
Catherine Desira
28 days ago

OMG!

Will this nightmare ever come to an end?!

We seriously need a collective Opposition to fight this Mafia. Not individual MPs.

Related Stories

Scrutiny as ‘attack’: Propaganda’s warped perspective
The reaction by party propagandists to The Shift’s report

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo