France has formally launched a preliminary investigation into whether Yorgen Fenech, the businessman charged with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, had used income from his French assets to bribe Maltese public officials in order to obtain a state contract for the LNG power station in Delimara.
The French National Financial Prosecutor’s Office released a statement this afternoon to confirm that a preliminary investigation has been launched following a request last December by Caruana Galizia’s family and Reporters Without Borders.
In their request, RSF and the Caruana Galizias, assisted by French lawyer Emmanuel Daoud, noted that Fenech owned major assets in France, including the Hilton Hotel in Evian-les-Bains and a race-horse stable which had yielded several hundred thousand euros in profit from January 2015 to December 2017.
“The murder of a journalist in a European Union country cannot go unpunished,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “As the assets in France of one of the probable masterminds may have been used to pay the perpetrators of this appalling crime, the French judicial authorities must investigate and help establish the truth.”
Today, the French National Financial Prosecutor’s Office formally confirmed the opening of a preliminary investigation within the framework of the investigation into the assassination of Caruana Galizia concerning a possible link between economic activities in France and the bribery of foreign public officials.
“The prosecutor of the Financial Republic has opened a preliminary investigation to find out whether the economic activities located in France of people suspected by the Maltese justice system of having played a role in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia were the source of bribery of foreign public officials,” the prosecution said.