Keith Schembri is being treated like any other prisoner, and no new security measures were rolled out following his imprisonment as the prison was “fully prepared”, an informed source has told Lovin Malta.
“Keith Schembri is not getting any preferential treatment, and security measures have been in place for a while now – there are killers like Daniel Muka inside, so it’s irrelevant who any new prisoners are,” the source continued. “Prison has always had strong security measures… it’s a prison after all.”
Schembri, the former chief of staff of ex Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, was charged with corruption and a number of other financial crimes along with ten others. Eight people, including Schembri’s elderly father and Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna, were also imprisoned after their requests for bail was denied.
Concerns were raised over whether Schembri would now be able to rub shoulders with and even speak to Yorgen Fenech, the murder suspect in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination case. However, with various other people and factions already needed to be kept apart in prison, keeping Fenech and Schembri apart – as well as apart from other figures like the Degiorgio brothers – is nothing new to authorities.
“There are already rival gang members in prison, we also had Muka and his brother – there are a number of people who can’t be allowed to meet… these things have to be taken into consideration, as well as their histories. But that’s why a security check is undertaken when an individual enters prison,” they said.
However, they were unable to completely rule out that any two prisoners may eventually run into each other at some point.
“It stands to reason that these key prisoners won’t be kept in the same place, but the reality is it’s an enclosed area and there isn’t too much room to move around in…”
However, the source explained that prison authorities have been investing in upgrading the prison over the last couple of years, specifically to be prepared in case someone major was to be imprisoned.
“Everything was already in place before this weekend. Authorities had received so much flak for investing in things like bulletproof vehicles a few years back – but as soon as the Maksar brothers were arrested, everyone was all praise for planning ahead. The prison authorities are aware of these dynamics, and they’ve been upgrading for years now.”
Schembri and his associates have been imprisoned since Saturday.