Joseph Muscat’s spokesman has admitted the Prime Minister had “contacts” with Yorgen Fenech, one of the men charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
This raises questions as to whether Muscat himself had a conflict of interest throughout the investigation which he was being regularly briefed about.
Lovin Malta yesterday reported that the two men sent frequent text messages to each other even after Muscat was told Fenech was the prime suspect of the murder.
The story showed there was a level of intimacy between Muscat and Fenech which was previously only thought to be enjoyed by Fenech and Muscat’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.
The Office of the Prime Minister yesterday failed to answers questions sent by Lovin Malta.
But after Lovin Malta published its story, a spokesman to the Prime Minister gave his comments to Malta Independent, confirming “contacts” between the two men.
“While the Prime Minister cannot at this stage comment on the specifics, one has to clarify that contacts with the said person were continued after the suspect’s name cropped up in the investigation, in consultation with the Malta Security Services,” the OPM spokesman said.
MaltaToday was also briefed about the story and this morning reported that the MSS “instructed Muscat to continue ‘business as usual’ with Fenech, so as not to signal any drastic changes with the businessman”.
Business as usual, it seems, meant frequent messaging exchanges.
This, despite the fact the Fenech and Schembri were already embroiled in a corruption scandal involving the power station and secret companies in Panama and Dubai.
When Muscat was first asked by Times of Malta when he last met Fenech, he gave off the impression that the two only met rarely, at social activities, as a Prime Minister would with any high level people in business – the last time being “one or two years ago”.
Muscat was later forced to admit having met Fenech as recently as February though he failed to give any specifics about that encounter.