Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Sunday put up a short Facebook statement reacting to Saturday's prosecutions, studiously avoiding mention of his ex-chief of staff Keith Schembri. 

Schembri was charged with money-laundering, corruption and fraud on Saturday in connection with the sale of machinery to Progress Press. 

Muscat said in his statement that after various stories, accusations and inquiries, a number of people had been prosecuted in court for alleged corruption in the private sector. 

Without naming Schembri in any way, Muscat said the case happened under a Nationalist government and was linked to Times of Malta

An FIAU report leaked in 2017 showed the payments by Schembri to former Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman continued up until 2015, two years into Schembri’s tenure as Muscat’s chief of staff. 

“I expect justice to take its course like I always did”, Muscat said. 

Muscat had always backed Schembri’s claim that he had stepped away from his Kasco business empire upon being appointed chief of staff in March 2013. 
 
After he spent years denying any knowledge about who owned 17 Black while still in government, both Schembri and Muscat have since admitted they knew the company was owned by Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech

Schembri had justified a 2015 e-mail detailing plans for 17 Black to inject up to €2 million into his Panama offshore structure as a deal he was looking to do with Fenech once he exited politics. 

The leaked e-mail, authored by Nexia BT, clearly stated that the funds would make their way to Schembri’s Panama company along with that of former Minister Konrad Mizzi by 2015. 

The e-mails' author, Karl Cini, was held in prison on Saturday along with Nexia BT’s managing partner Brian Tonna for their alleged role in facilitating the corruption from the Progress Press deal. 

Schembri too spent the night behind bars pending the start of the case against him.

Muscat said in his short post that two-and-a-half years on from the Egrant inquiry, he would continue to insist justice was done for the “Egrant lie”, which he described as a falsified story. 

The inquiry, which was wrapped up long before the two inquiries into Schembri, had not found any evidence linking the Panama company to Muscat’s wife Michelle. 

It also found that signatures on a declaration of trust linking the former PM’s wife to Egrant had been falsified. 

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