Updated 6pm with PN statement

An inquiry into secret offshore companies opened by murder suspect Yorgen Fenech and ex-government officials Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi has been concluded, according to MEP David Casa.

A number of suspects are expected to be charged in connection with the probe. 

Casa and lawyer Jason Azzopardi announced on Facebook that the years’ long magisterial inquiry has come to an end.

However two government sources told Times of Malta that the inquiry was "100% not closed".

The probe centered around plans by Fenech’s company 17 Black to pay millions to Schembri and Mizzi via secretive offshore structure in Panama.

These plans are suspected to be linked to Electrogas, the consortium awarded a 2013 government contract to build and operate a gas-fired power plant.

Fenech is a former director and part-owner of Electrogas.

He is awaiting trial for allegedly orchestrating the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Fenech denies the charges.

In a statement, shadow justice minister Karol Aquilina called on the Attorney General to publish the magisterial inquiry report "without further delay".

"The Attorney General and the Police Commissioner are now being held responsible if this inquiry report ends up in the hands of Robert Abela again in an abusive and illegal manner so that, as happened in the case of the Vitals inquiry, he will be able to make statements and public comments with which he tries to dictate and influence the judicial process for his political advantage," he said.

Schembri’s and Mizzi’s ownership of the secret Panama companies was outed by a massive data leak known as the Panama Papers.

Caruana Galizia had teased knowledge of the Panama companies prior to the leak’s publication in April 2016.

Ex-prime minister Joseph Muscat shunned calls for Mizzi’s and Schembri’s resignations in the wake of the Panama revelations.

Caruana Galizia had also put up a cryptic Facebook post in February 2017, hinting that 17 Black could be linked to government corruption.

She was assassinated by a car bomb eight months later.

In April 2018, Times of Malta published an e-mail linking 17 Black to Mizzi’s and Schembri’s Panama companies.

The e-mail was authored by Nexia BT, Mizzi’s and Schembri’s financial advisors.

Schembri claims the e-mail referenced "draft business plans" he formulated with Fenech whilst still in government. Mizzi denies any connection with 17 Black. 

The e-mail revealed plans by Schembri's and Mizzi's companies to receive millions from 17 Black.The e-mail revealed plans by Schembri's and Mizzi's companies to receive millions from 17 Black.

An investigation by Times of Malta and Reuters published in November 2018 outed Fenech as 17 Black’s owner.

An inquiry into 17 Black and another mystery company called Macbridge was started that same year. Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil had separately demanded an inquiry into the Panama Papers scandal, which was integrated into the 17 Black probe.

Times of Malta and Reuters went on to reveal how energy negotiator Chen Cheng was behind Macbridge. The company was owned, on paper, by Cheng's mother-in-law Tang Zhaomin . 

Cheng played a key role in a €320 million deal for Chinese state-owned company Shanghai Electric Power to buy 33 per cent of Enemalta in 2014 and also pitched a Montenegro wind farm deal to the Maltese energy company, which earned Fenech millions of euro 

Schembri and Mizzi were charged with corruption over the Vitals hospitals scandal last month. Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna and Karl Cini were also charged.

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