Updated 12.56pm - Added video

If an investigation into Keith Schembri found that there were grounds for criminal steps to be taken he would "have to shoulder responsibility and resign," Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat said this morning. 

Speaking at a press conference in Birkirkara, Dr Muscat insisted that an investigation into his chief of staff was not yet a criminal one and that the inquiring magistrate looking into Egrant claims had referred the matter to another magistrate for further investigation. 

“If it is established that enough evidence exists for criminal charges to be made, Mr Schembri will have to resign,” he said. The comment prompted applause from PL candidates seated in the audience. 

READ: Magistrate says enough evidence for Schembri, Tonna 'to face criminal investigation' - Busuttil

The Prime Minister used the press conference to expound on the Labour Party's proposal to fix all of Malta's roads within a seven-year period, with the country's road budget increasing fivefold.

Mr Schembri has been accused of taking kickbacks on the sale of passports, with Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil having testified to inquiring magistrate Aaron Bugeja with what he has said is cast-iron proof of Mr Schembri's involvement in the alleged criminal scheme.

Dr Muscat yesterday downplayed the magistrate's decision to refer kickback allegations to another magistrate, saying it proved that “papers produced were unrelated” to the Egrant inquiry. 

 

Photo: Matthew MirabelliPhoto: Matthew Mirabelli

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