Why it was in November that the Prime Minister’s chief of staff instructed Henley & Partners to threaten to ruin me financially by suing me in a London court

Published: May 31, 2017 at 5:05pm

Another few pieces of this sickening jigsaw puzzle have fallen into place. It was in late March that I received the first of a series of harassing and threatening letters from Mishcon de Reya in London, in representation of their client Henley & Partners.

They seemed rather perplexed that I wasn’t in the least bit intimidated and that I actually sounded annoyed at them (which I was). I agreed to meet Christian Kalin – the man we now know addresses our Prime Minister and his chief of staff as “Keith and Joseph” and communicates with them on their [email protected] and [email protected] addresses – in the first week of April.

The first question I asked him was: “Why now? Some of the comments and posts your lawyers have tried to get me to remove are two or three years old. Maltese law only gives you one year. Why has this come out of the blue?”

“Because an election is coming,” he said. I took Kalin’s word for it, having no idea at the time that the Prime Minister actually was planning on calling a general election for the last Saturday in May, or in early June.

But now, in the leaked chains of emails which I have seen between Kalin and members of the ‘Keith and Joseph’ cabal on their @josephmuscat.com and (accidentally) @gov.mt addresses, I note to my surprise that it was last November that Keith Schembri and Joseph Muscat instructed Henley & Partners to go after me in the UK courts so as to intimidate me and ruin me financially. The delay between November and March was because Kalin couldn’t muster the support of other key executives in his corporation for this mission against me. They were concerned it would blow up (they were right). But Kalin went ahead regardless after much argument because he had instructions from “Keith and Joseph”. More about this in other posts later on today.

November, why November? The question has been eating at me all day, because long experience has taught me that in these situations there is always a trigger, always a reason. What had happened in November? Oh my God, that’s it – and if it hadn’t been for the Prime Minister’s press conference yesterday morning, in which he said duplicitously that his chief of staff had offered his resignation “when reports of his illness broke in the media”, I probably wouldn’t have remembered.

In November, I broke the story that Keith Schembri was at that moment away from the island, that he had gone to London with Franco Mercieca (an eye surgeon as well as a Labour MP) for tests because of a fatal tumour on his optical nerve, and that they had been referred to the United States for further tests. I also reported that he had not been going in to the office for a while and that the Prime Minister was covering up for him in his illness and absence.

Muscat, Schembri and Mercieca had all gone ballistic when that story broke. Mercieca went wild in parliament, insulting me like a fishwife. Muscat went into full-on bitchy ‘I’ll get you’ mode. And Schembri, frustrated as hell at not being able to sue me because it was true (and not libellous anyway), got his lawyers to write to the Data Protection Commissioner to order me to take down the story because it breached his privacy.

My story was published in the first week of November. A few days later, the Justice Minister called Christian Kalin in for a meeting and instructed him, on behalf of the Prime Minister and his chief of staff (who were later sent the details and gave their approval by email) to go after me with the threat of financially ruinous action in a London court.

So that’s why this obscenity was triggered last November, when the posts and comments they were complaining about were two or three years old. It was Keith Schembri’s retaliation against me for reporting on the illness he had tried to hide from the press and the public. He couldn’t sue me himself, so he got Henley & Partners to go after me instead for something completely different, and with a threat of financial ruination.

Keith Schembri (centre) with Joseph Muscat (left) and Christian Kalin of Henley & Partners