Updated: Keith Schembri also issued a statement stating he will be suing blogger Caruana Galizia and will ask for the proceedings to be fast tracked.
As blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia earlier said that during the coming week she will be revealing the identity of the owner of Egrant as large sums of money were moved to accounts held by Heanville, Egrant and another company, Minister Konrad Mizzi issued a statement stating that: He denies the allegations made today by blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia. Caruana Galizia alleged that “very large sums of money” were moved to bank accounts held by Heanville Inc and other companies. Caruana Galizia further alleged that in September 2015, Minister Mizzi visited Pilatus Bank in Ta’ Xbiex.
These allegations are false, and Minister Mizzi rejects the assertions in the strongest terms possible. No sum of money was ever transferred to Hearnville Inc. Indeed, Hearnville Inc. never had any bank account. Furthermore, Minister Mizzi never visited Pilatus Bank. Additionally, no funds from or related to Azerbaijan were ever transferred in any way to Minister Mizzi or any member of his family.
The statement goes on to say that “Daphne Caruana Galizia is lying outright.”
Minister Mizzi had requested trustees to commission an independent audit of the New Zealand family trust and of Hearnville Inc. The trustees have engaged Crowe Horwath, one of the largest public audit and accounting firms in the world, and the audit has established that the financial statements of the structure were presented fairly, in all material respects and in accordance with accounting policies. The auditors have confirmed that the evidence they obtained was sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for their audit opinion. This confirmed that the structure is solely intended as a family trust and that no bank accounts were held by the trust and company.
Minister Mizzi will be instituting libel proceedings against Caruana Galizia in connection with the slanderous allegations made by the blogger. He will further request that the Court hear the case with urgency.