Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was one of three people who knew the details of the plot to assassinate journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia soon after the murder, Yorgen Fenech told investigators.
In today’s sitting against Fenech over the murder, Inspector Kurt Zahra confirmed that Fenech told investigators Muscat was one of three people who knew of the murder plot after the assassination.
The other two were family doctor Adrian Vella and Johann Cremona, the business partner of Fenech and close confidante of state witness Melvin Theuma.
According to Fenech’s statement, Fenech and Muscat spoke twice about the murder. Lovin Malta had first revealed Muscat was named in the statement in November 2019.
The first was at Castille and the second was at Muscat’s birthday bash at Girgenti. On both occasions, they discussed Melvin Theuma and whether or not he can be trusted. Muscat allegedly asked whether Schembri was named in the recordings.
Muscat, Fenech said, also passed on information that Theuma was set to be arrested in June 2019. However, Inspector Kurt Zahra told the court that investigators were not planning a raid around then.
Fenech was only a suspect in the murder by the end of 2018, well after unprecedented briefings on the murder kicked off at Castille. Muscat resigned in December 2019 over his office’s links to the murder, particularly his chief of staff and right-hand man, Keith Schembri.
Fenech, who was speaking after his arrest in November 2019, pinned the murder plot on Schembri, who he said wanted Caruana Galizia dead since 2014 for the trouble she was causing the government.
Schembri even allegedly forked out €85,000 to help fund the murder.
According to Fenech, Schembri contacted him every day until the murder was planned. When Fenech informed him that Theuma had discovered men who would carry out the murder, Schembri said:
“Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead.”
Schembri, Fenech said, was also involved in an alleged escape plot the week before Fenech’s eventual arrest.
“I’ll miss you,” Schembri allegedly told Fenech.
Schembri’s links did not stop there in today’s sitting. Under questioning from Jason Azzopardi, Zahra also seemingly confirmed that Schembri had a 30-minute phone call with Fenech on the eve of his arrest.
“K told me all was clear,” Fenech said in a WhatsApp message that evening.
Schembri has hung over the case like a shroud with Fenech long claiming he would leak information on the case. Recently Vella confirmed that he passed on documents between Fenech and Schembri while the latter was under police bail for the murder.
The letters reportedly deal with an alleged frame-up attempt of Chris Cardona, which have been published by Lovin Malta. Vella said he recognised Fenech’s handwriting on the documents, but could not confirm with absolute certainty whether these were the documents he was handed.
Schembri has confirmed meeting Vella during the period messages were exchanged, but insists he didn’t write, send or deliver the note in question. However, Vella has told the court that Schembri was lying under oath.
Vella has also confirmed to the courts that he called Schembri when police that were ready to arrest him were waiting for 15 minutes outside his home. He told the courts that during this period he deleted entire WhatsApp conversations.
Schembri was first arrested in connection with the crime in November 2019. However, he was released without charge and is not currently under police bail.
He remains under investigation.
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