You don’t fight corruption by sitting down to coffee with Keith Schembri’s legal counsel in the money-laundering inquiry

Published: August 20, 2017 at 6:46pm

Adrian Delia, a frontrunner in the contest for the Nationalist Party leadership which may well see him being sworn in as Opposition leader when parliament reconvenes in the autumn, has said this weekend that he will be “committed to the fight against government corruption if he is elected”.

Yet here he is a few days ago, having coffee and a friendly intense conversation with Edward Gatt (on left), who is counsel to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, in the current money-laundering inquiries conducted by magistrates.

The others at the table are former Nationalist cabinet minister Michael Falzon, who was discovered to have secreted almost half a million euros in a bank account in Switzerland which had not been declared to the Maltese government even when he was a minister of that government, and who was given an amnesty on it but refused to say by which government, and Hermann Schiavone, the newly elected Nationalist MP who is openly supporting Adrian Delia for the party leadership – and who I now realise is the main reason why Franco Debono (is he still Law Commissioner?) is snapping at Dr Delia’s heels all over the internet.

Any sight, sound or mention of Mr Schiavone is like a red rag to a Spanish bull for the Law Commissioner and former Nationalist MP who brought down Lawrence Gonzi’s government in late 2012 by voting against the budget in a fit of extended rage.