Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his wife Michelle, his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, and Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar are just a few of the Maltese state officials that were bestowed honorary decorations by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.
The four were awarded the titles of Grand Officier Republique, Grand Officier Mérite, and Commandeur Mérite respectively during a state visit to Malta between the 5 and 6 February 2019.
On the list of decorated individuals also appears President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, her husband Edgar, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela, Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia, and Chief Justice Joseph Azzopardi.
This is cute. @presidentmt acting on the advice of @JosephMuscat approved the decoration of … ????… @keithaschembri, who is subject to two inquiries in relation to kickbacks & money laundering as well as #17Black, as “Commandeur Mérite”.https://t.co/POSzc4nRs8 pic.twitter.com/LZDgSU9Jh2
— BugM (@bugdavem) February 17, 2019
Schembri’s award has raised a few eyebrows given his controversial tenure as the PM’s Chief of Staff, with serious allegations levelled against him still subject of on-going magisterial inquiries.
A tweet by BugM was retweeted by Panama Papers journalist Bastian Obermayer, PN MP Jason Azzopardi, and Occupy Justice activist Kristina Chetcuti among others.
A full list of those awarded can be found below: