Ned Price, Department Spokesperson
Today, the U.S. Department of State announces the public designation of former Maltese public officials Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri due to their involvement in significant corruption. In their official capacities as Minister of Energy and Conservation of Water and Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, Mizzi and Schembri were involved in corrupt acts that included using their political influence and official power for their personal benefit. Specifically, there is credible information that Mizzi and Schembri were involved in a corrupt scheme that entailed the award of a government contract for the construction of a power plant and related services in exchange for kickbacks and bribes. Their actions undermined rule of law and the Maltese public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions and public processes.
This designation is made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2021. In addition to Mizzi and Schembri, the Department of State is designating Mizzi and Schembri’s immediate family members: Mizzi’s wife, Sai Mizzi Liang, and his two minor children; Schembri’s wife, Josette Schembri Vella, his daughter Juliana Schembri Vella, and his minor child. This action renders Mizzi and Schembri, and each of these members of their immediate families, ineligible for entry into the United States.
This designation reaffirms the U.S. commitment to supporting the rule of law and strengthening democratic institutions in Malta. The Department will continue to use authorities like this to promote accountability for corrupt actors in this region and globally.
For more information, please contact INL-PAPD@state.gov.