Inspector Kurt Zahra, who is the second in command on the Daphne Caruana Galizia case, insists that it was police on-site who brought the FBI onboard and coordinated their involvement, making him the third person to cast major doubt on Keith Schembri’s claims made under oath.
Zahra, who was speaking in the public inquiry over the case, said that while he cannot confirm, he suspects it might have been former Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta who suggested it. While he was adamant that the coordination started on site soon after the murder, he could not confirm whose idea it actually was.
Schembri had said under oath twice, most recently in the police’s case against Yorgen Fenech, that he was the one to call up the US Embassy to coordinate the FBI’s involvement in the case at least five minutes after finding out about the murder.
Beyond Zahra, the claim has been denied by former Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar was said this is “absolutely” not the case.
Meanwhile, well-informed sources close to the investigation have told Lovin Malta that the request was actually made by Superintendent George Cremona, who is the Head of the Counter-Terrorism Unit & Criminal Intelligence Unit.
Malta’s US Embassy has declined to comment on the case, explaining it is US government policy to not comment on active court cases.
Schembri’s other claims of the day Caruana Galizia died are also being doubted.
Schembri says he was at the Office of the Prime Minister with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and former Head of Communications Kurt Farrugia, when the previous Mater Dei CEO called to inform them there was an explosion at Burmarrad.
However, a video clearly shows that Muscat was on a press tour at 3:15pm on 16th October 2017, soon after Caruana Galizia was murdered.
Fenech has described a “fraternal” relationship with Schembri to the courts, and Schembri has confirmed under oath that they had even holidayed together on occasion.
Fenech has claimed that he was fed information on the investigation directly from Schembri and others, including Valletta. These details included the arrest of the three men charged with carrying out the murder, a potential pardon, and information that the suspects’ phones were wiretapped.
Schembri remains under investigation for his involvement in the case.
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