Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Tuesday he retained full confidence in his chief of staff, Keith Schembri, who now figures in three separate magisterial inquiries.

Asked about comments he had given in an interview last year that Mr Schembri would resign if faced with a criminal investigation, Dr Muscat insisted ongoing investigations were into the once-secret company 17 Black and not his chief of staff directly.

Leaked e-mails show Panama companies set up by Mr Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi had arrangements to receive payments of $2 million from 17 Black, owned by Yorgen Fenech a director of the Electrogas power station, and another company of unknown ownership called Macbridge.

There is currently no investigation into Keith Schembri; the investigation is into 17 Black- Muscat

Asked whether he had full confidence in Mr Schembri despite the shadow of the inquiries, Dr Muscat said: "I retain full faith in our system. I said that if there is a criminal investigation his position would not be tenable, as with any other person. There is currently no investigation into Keith Schembri; the investigation is into 17 Black."

Pressed further on whether he still had confidence in Mr Schembri, the prime minister said he did.

Dr Muscat spoke to journalists briefly after delivering a keynote address at the Medical Cannabis World Forum in Valletta.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us