As threatened on Tuesday, disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat’s similarly disgraced former chief of staff Keith Schembri this morning filed a constitutional application claiming his fundamental right to a fair hearing was breached when Opposition members of the Public Accounts Committee asked the police to investigate him for perjury.
Schembri’s application was filed against Opposition PAC members Darren Carabott, David Agius and Graham Bencini, who lodged a police report on 19 April in connection with his testimony before the PAC on the ElectroGas power station contract.
The three MPs had submitted a letter to Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa calling for an investigation into previous statements made by former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, Schembri and former Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta.
The request was made following Schembri’s testimony before the PAC on 17 April, in which he repeatedly contradicted claims made by Scicluna during the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry.
Scicluna had told the board of inquiry that the government’s big decisions were taken by an inner circle that operated outside the confines of the cabinet, which he famously described as a “kitchen cabinet”.
Schembri, however, insisted that Scicluna would have been involved in all major decisions given his role as finance minister at the time, along with the ministry’s permanent secretary Alfred Camilleri.
“It was no kitchen cabinet… it was the cabinet,” Schembri said.
At the most recent PAC meeting last Tuesday, Schembri’s lawyers, Edward Gatt and Mark Vassallo, objected to the PAC members filing the police report and instructed Schembri to stop answering their questions.
When Carabott, who chairs the PAC, tried to question Schembri on a claim he made during last week’s testimony and ask how he knew the secret company Egrant had never been used, Schembri refused to reply, saying that a constitutional case would be filed “within the next two days” and that he would not be replying to any further questions.
The application was also filed against the State Advocate and the Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia.
It argues that Schembri’s right to a fair hearing had not been upheld when PAC chair Darren Carabott had not allowed Schembri to request a ruling from the Speaker of the House for his testimony to be suspended until the police investigation Carabott, Agius and Bencini had requested was finalised.
When one stops answering questions it can simply be taken as an admission of guilt. If y’ have nothing to hide y’ can sing like a bird- without repercussions
And ain’t that the truth???
More delaying tactics, time-wasting and useless posturing from all sides.
Keith’s already had a wing clipped. Corradino still beckons, again.
Scicluna and Schembri should face each other in court.