Minister Konrad Mizzi said today he will close down his company in Panama, Hearnville Inc, after a tax audit.
"To avoid baseless speculation and also to respond to genuine feedback, Dr Konrad Mizzi has decided that after the conclusion of the Tax Audit which he requested to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, he will proceed with the closure of Hearnville Inc which is registered in Panama. There will be full disclosure on the dissolution process," a statement issued by his ministry.
The trust registered in New Zealand will be retained.
The ministry quoted Dr Mizzi as saying that he had declared the trust and company, he had acted correctly throughout, provided full disclosure, subjected himself to scrutiny by Inland Revenue and also responded to genuine feedback.
"Minister Mizzi has duly declared the setting up of a Trust in New Zealand for family estate management and planning with a long-term horizon. He also declared that he became the ultimate beneficial owner of Hearnville Inc a company registered in Panama."
Moreover, the ministry said, to date the trust owns 100% of the issued shares of Hearnville Inc.
The trust does not, to date, have any bank accounts in its name and the trustee does not hold any bank accounts in the trust’s name.
Hearnville Inc has not yet traded to date.
Hearnville Inc has no assets or bank accounts opened in its name to date.
Dr Mizzi has adhered to the principles of transparency and disclosure and has acted correctly throughout. He has also subjected himself to scrutiny voluntarily knowing that there is no wrongdoing.- Government statement
The ministry said that to ensure transparency Dr Mizzi had also shared the documentation with the press.
"Moreover he has also asked the Commissioner for Inland Revenue to conduct an audit of himself. This is an unprecedented move which has never been undertaken by any Minister or Member of Parliament."
The ministry said Dr Mizzi had adhered to the principles of transparency and disclosure and had acted correctly throughout. He had also subjected himself to scrutiny voluntarily knowing that there is no wrongdoing.
"Dr Mizzi is committed to continue to work relentlessly to implement Government initiatives, which will positively affect people’s lives," the ministry said.
Mizzi and Muscat behaviour, an insult to all Maltese, say AD
Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson Arnold Cassola said in a reaction to the ministry statement that it was disgraceful and an insult to all Maltese that
Dr Mizzi continued trying to dupe the whole population when everyone knew that the Commissioner of Inland Revenue could not do any tax audit in Panama.
"Minister Mizzi must learn to treat citizens with respect."
"As for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, until a few hours ago he had insisted it was no problem to have a company in Panama. Now that he has realized that he has really put his foot in it, he should take the honourable way out" AD said.
See PN reaction in separate story. http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160229/local/pn-to-hold-national-protest-against-corruption.604205
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