Updated 12.25pm with video
Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi on Monday insisted he had no intention of resigning, saying he had nothing to do with fallout from the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation.
“I stand tall,” the minister told journalists in Valletta, saying he was “offended” by the suggestion that his name would be among those businessman Yorgen Fenech was seeking a pardon to identify.
“I have nothing to do with this case. Why should I carry responsibility which is not associated with me?”
Dr Mizzi said he could not recall the last time he and Mr Fenech had met and shot down any suggestion that the two had ever discussed Ms Caruana Galizia.
"I have a professional relationship with Mr Fenech. There are people on both sides of the House who have closer relationships with him than me".
The minister has come under increased scrutiny to resign, including from within his own party, following Mr Fenech’s arrest last week as a person of interest in the Caruana Galizia case.
A leaked email published in 2018 revealed how a secret company owned by Mr Fenech, 17 Black, was named as a source of funds for offshore companies Dr Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri had opened while in office.
The emails indicated that the companies were set to receive €5,000 a day.
Dr Mizzi was speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting of Labour Party MPs being held at the Prime Minister’s office at the Auberge de Castille.
He described Mr Schembri as "integral" to the country's success.
“What the country needs right now is for justice to prevail,” the minister said.
He insisted he had already paid a political price for having opened an offshore firm while in office, saying he had quit as Labour deputy leader and been stripped of his ministerial portfolio – energy – a 2016 reshuffle.
Dr Mizzi was reelected into parliament with an even larger vote count during the following year’s general election and re-appointed to cabinet, this time as Tourism Minister, by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.