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MW 10 MAY 2017

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MATTHEW VELLA THE Financial Intelligence Analy- sis Unit could not trace the original loan transaction of 2012, made by the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Keith Schembri, to Nexia BT man- aging partner Brian Tonna, when it carried out a review of Pilatus bank accounts. Significantly, it is this justifica- tion that Tonna and Schembri have insisted formed the reason for a payment of €100,000 from Tonna's offshore company Willerby Trade Inc, to Schembri's bank account in Pilatus Bank. But according to reports in The Times of the FIAU report con- cerning Pilatus Bank – ostensibly forming the core of evidence that Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has handed over to a magistrate – no evidence could be found of the original loan transaction, which is why a police investigation was re- quired. It will be Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras to lead the inquiry into the allegations against Keith Schembri. In a statement, Schem- bri said he welcomed the selection of the magistrate, which takes place at random. "I have absolute trust in the judiciary and I will be cooper- ating in full with the inquiry, and look forward to the opportunity to expose the whole truth." While the FIAU dubbed this transaction as being of a "highly suspicious nature", Pilatus had not filed a suspected transaction report. Instead, it had asked the two men for a justification for the transfer of money, and they were presented with a loan agreement made in 2012 for a €100,000 loan. The money, the FIAU said, was paid in two separate payments of €50,000 shortly after Willerby Trade received €166,831 in fees from three Russian applicants for Maltese citizenship. Tonna is an accredited agent for the IIP, and uses Willerby Trade as an "intro- ducer" so that fees from successful applicants can be paid into the off- shore company. WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT WEDNESDAY EDITION €1.00 Newspaper post SEE PAGES 4-7 WEDNESDAY • 10 MAY 2017 • ISSUE 523 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY PAGE 8 ELECTIONS DAYS TO GO 24 Elusive evidence for 2012 loan led FIAU to request police investigation Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras will lead inquiry Muscat and Busuttil talk social justice AS Day 9 of the electoral campaign came to a close, the two main parties champi- oned their social justice credentials with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat insist- ing that the majority of his party's proposals are inspired by social mo- bility. On his part, PN leader Simon Bu- suttil positioned himself to the left of Muscat, telling the party faithful gathered in Zejtun that "my social conscience is greater than Joseph Muscat's, and I am proud of it, because my priority isn't Panama but Malta." This came as both party leaders under- lined a number of proposals focusing on social justice put forward as the campaign entered its second week. Saying that he made no distinc- tion between proposals and prin- ciples, since every proposal was rooted in an overarching prin- ciple, Muscat told a large crowd of supporters gathered in Msida that Labour's proposals intend- ed to get people to aspire to achieve more in life. "We are not send- ing people cheques to buy votes. There is a principle be- hind it and this principle is so- cial mobility, for everyone to move forward," he said. Furthermore, he said that the fact that those who earn the least would be getting the "biggest cheque" showed that the proposals were also driven by the principle of social justice. In a speech focused on the party's electoral pro- gramme Busuttil reeled off a list of social proposals the PN had announced in re- cent days and recounted how a journalist had asked him whether he is more of a Labourite than the Prime Minister. "I responded that every Labourite is Maltese like I am, and that every Labourite is part of the same family that I am," he said. "I am not only here for Nationalists but for every single Maltese person. Let's eliminate this division that Muscat keeps trying to sow once and for all and realize that we are all Maltese brothers." In a similar tone to Muscat prior to the 2013 election, and trying to counter the same accusations coming to him from the Labour camp, Busuttil said that he came from a family that was half-Na- tionalist and half-Labourite, and said that every Labour voter should feel comfortable jumping ship to the PN under his leadership. Busuttil reiterated that the election was about principles more than it is about propos- als, and that government cor- ruption had left the country's future hanging in the balance.

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