Updated 4.458pm - Added Keith Schembri's statement
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has asked the courts to examine whether Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri broke money laundering laws when opening secret companies in Panama.
In the court application, Dr Busuttil asks the duty magistrate to launch a criminal inquiry into the two men's acts. The application was signed by PN shadow minister Jason Azzopardi and lawyer Kris Busietta.
"I am taking this step because neither the police nor the Attorney General have done what they should have. The general election result is no excuse to sweep criminal acts under the carpet, especially when these were committed by people in positions of power," the PN leader said in comments after filing the application.
The general election result is no excuse to sweep criminal acts under the carpet
The application highlights a December 2015 email in which Nexia BT's Karl Schembri gives go-ahead to open bank accounts for offshore companies belonging to the two PEPs, despite Panamanian bank BSI requiring minimum deposits of $1 million a year.
It also notes that both Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri's applications to open Panama companies included ticked boxes requesting 'no audit' and 'total secrecy and confidentiality'.
The five-page court application lists, in chronological order, the various political happenings and manoeuvres which have raised the Opposition's suspicions, starting in March 2013 when Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri assumed their government posts to more than three years later, when the European Parliament's Pana Committee chairman Werner Langen told the press that the case "looks like money laundering".
'Mud and lies'
In a statement issued by the Tourism Ministry, Dr Mizzi said Dr Busuttil "continues to rehash unfounded and baseless allegations".
He said his trust and company never had any bank accounts and never received any funds, saying this was "a fact that can not be disputed" and pointing to an audit of his trust which he made public in February.
In a brief statement, the Labour Party also dismissed the court application, saying "it seems Dr Busuttil has changed his mind and wants to stay on as leader of the Nationalist Party."
Keith Schembri says he will take legal action against Busuttil
Mr Schembri said in a statement he would not be permitting any more lies against him and in the next few hours would be taking the necessary legal action against Dr Busuttil.
He said the application filed by Dr Busuttil today was legally unsustainable and a poor political attempt by the PN leader at saving his political career.
For Dr Busuttil was only requesting an investigation that what was already being carried out. At least this time he did not use the empty boxes stunt, he said.
Mr Schembri said the only aim behind Dr Busuttil's application was to lay the ground for the submission of his nomination for PN leader.
I will continue to fight for justice - Simon Busuttil
In a statement, the Nationalist Party said that rather than investigate those who were corrupt, the Prime Minister was continuing to hound those who uncovered corruption.
The PN noted that Dr Busuttil was this morning called by Magistrate Doreen Clarke to testify in the inquiry being held to establish who leaked the FIAU reports which had concluded that criminal action should be taken against Mr Schembri about corruption and money laundering.
In a statement to the media, Dr Busuttil said that he refused to give the requested information because he had already promised to protect people who were willing to uncover corruption.
"I defended the people who want to fight corruption, while Dr Muscat defended those who are being investigated for corruption. This is the pitiful state justice in our country is in at the moment. Many people are suffering because we have a government for whom justice and the law do not count. I will continue to fight for justice in our country."
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