Updated 5.50pm with Allied Group statement

Former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri said on Thursday that he expects to be charged with criminal activity in “the coming days”. 

In a lengthy Facebook post, Schembri slammed the inquiry into alleged kickbacks he gave to former Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman as a “travesty of justice”. 

Schembri portrayed the charges as an “establishment” plot against him. 

He said according to the “establishment”, the crime he is guilty of is his role in the team led by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat resulting in a series of victories for the Labour party that he loves. 

Schembri said he looks forward to the opportunity of clearing his name from the “allegations that they have long been trying to smear me with”. 

In a message to Labour, Schembri said he still believes in the capacity of the Labour movement to continue doing good for the country. 

Schembri took aim in his post at the forensic accountant Miroslova Milenovic, who worked on the inquiry. 

He claimed that her association with a political party in Serbia could have coloured her views in the inquiry. 

Schembri failed to mention in his post that Milenovic was the same forensic expert used during the Egrant inquiry, the conclusions of which have long been trumpeted by Labour. 

The former OPM chief of staff said he thought he would be able to continue living his life and enjoying all he had been deprived of during the 11 years of service to the Labour Party. 

Instead, Schembri said he had ended up being the victim of a political witch hunt. 

He said this witch hunt reached its peak last summer, when he was arrested and his assets frozen on the basis of an inquiry into passports kickbacks that had found no wrongdoing. 

Schembri said after the police searched his home and businesses, they strip-searched him at the lock-up and locked him in a cell for 14 hours. 

All this on the basis of an inquiry that Schembri claims concluded there were no kickbacks. 

Schembri said he had spent the past six months going to the police depot to answer every single question put to him. 

He said just as the six-month period for the asset freeze from the first inquiry was about to expire, the Hillman inquiry was suddenly concluded after four years.

Schembri said the inquiry was about alleged bribery between two private entities, namely Allied Newspapers’ printing arm Progress Press and his company Kasco. 

He said the bid put in by Kasco for the Progress Press contract was €2 million cheaper than that of the nearest competitor. 

Schembri said this tender had never been understood or accepted by the “PN establishment”. 

He said the establishment could never understand or accept how a Labourite from a working family from Cospicua had managed to break the monopoly in a market this same establishment had controlled for 40  years. 

This same establishment could not accept or understand how a Labourite could had managed to build a bridge with the Times of Malta, Schembri further claimed. 

He said apart from recommending charges against him, the inquiry also recommended charges against the organisation's directors for defrauding Malta Enterprise. 

Schembri said the conclusions of this inquiry would lead to the lives of many innocent people being destroyed. 

Allied Group Statement

In a statement, Allied Group referred to reports alleging that police action may be taken against directors of the Allied Group.

The group said it wanted to clarify that, to its knowledge, none of its current directors are under any form of criminal investigation.

"The group reiterates that it will continue to co-operate fully with the police investigations regarding the Schembri-Hillman case, as it did during the magisterial inquiry conducted by Magistrate Josette Demicoli."

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.