Late on Monday the court issued an order to freeze all the assets of former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, his companies and his wife, and those of Brian Tonna and Karl Cini of Nexia BT, among others. The order was issued by Judge Edwina Grima at the request of the Attorney General.
The Court agreed with the Attorney General’s request that there is reasonable suspicion that the persons mentioned in the application may be found guilty of money laundering in accordance with chapter 373 of the Law of Malta.
The Attorney General’s application was submitted days after a magisterial inquiry into whether Prime Minister Keith Schembri’s former Chief of Staff had received money from the sale of passports. However, the Attorney General prohibited the publication of the report of the inquiry.
Meanwhile, the Nationalist Party in a statement welcomed the development. Opposition leader Adrian Delia said Prime Minister Robert Abela needed to shoulder responsibility for the way he and his colleagues had defended Schembri while ‘he laundered money derived from corruption’.