Joseph Muscat has said that while police never told him Yorgen Fenech was the alleged mastermind in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case, he was aware that the businessmen was on a shortlist of suspects.
“There wasn’t a moment when I was told that Yorgen Fenech was the alleged mastermind,” Muscat said during an interview by Times of Malta. “There was a shortlist of suspects. It started zeroing in, and my thinking was, when investigators starting moving in that direction…I didn’t ask investigators for information, they would inform me of their own volition when we came to crucial points.”
He didn’t state whether he knew who the other suspects were.
Muscat had invited Fenech to his private birthday party at Girgenti in February 2019, with Fenech infamously gifting Muscat three Petrus wine bottles.
The former Prime Minister has repeatedly said he invited Fenech to the party after consulting the Malta Security Services, who advised him to act normally around the businessman so as not to arouse his suspicion that he was under investigation.
However, Fenech has told police that he and Muscat actually discussed the murder at this birthday party, as well as at an earlier meeting at Castille. Muscat has denied these claims.
In his interview with The Times, Muscat said he didn’t interfere in the murder investigation and that Superintendent and chief homicide investigator Keith Arnaud can attest to this.
“I don’t do self-praise. But last week Keith Arnaud was described a hero by Matthew Caruana Galizia. Ask Keith Arnaud about my role,” he said.
Muscat said he only took one “sort of decision” in the murder case, which was to insist to the Maltese police that foreign investigators remain on board.
“For instance, one time, Interpol or Europol were not agreeing with the investigators’ decisions. And they came to me, because it was a major decision about strategy,” he said.
“I told them ‘whatever the case, international investigators have to remain. It will not be sustainable if they withdraw from the case’. That was the only time when I took some sort of decision concerning the case. But I wanted to carry this thing to the end, and then leave.”