Keith Schembri, the former OPM chief of staff currently facing charges of corruption, will face cross-examination by Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers.
The announcement was made at the end of today’s sitting in the compilation of evidence against Fenech for the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Defence lawyer Charles Mercieca told Magistrate Rachel Montebello that they would like to cross-examine Schembri, Melvin Theuma confidante and Fenech business associate Johann Cremona, experts from Europol, and Theuma.
Fenech has long maintained that Schembri was the actual mastermind behind the assassination. However, the claims are yet to be proven.
It is unclear when Schembri will be called for cross-examination. The next sitting, on 14th April, will see Theuma and service providers testify. Theuma’s last testimony was cut short after he felt unwell, later testing positive for COVID-19.
Fenech claims in recordings that he was fed information on the investigation directly from Schembri and former Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta.
These details included the arrest of the three men charged with carrying out the murder, Vince Muscat’s potential pardon, that their phones were wiretapped, and that Chris Cardona’s number was discovered on the phone of one of Daphne’s killers.
Fenech’s and Schembri’s mutual doctor Adrian Vella said Schembri used him to pass on messages to Fenech while he was under police bail. Vella also passed on a letter instructing Fenech to pin the murder on Cardona.
Schembri’s missing mobile phone and a late-night visit to Muscat the eve before his arrest remain a mystery.
Fenech has described a “fraternal” relationship with Schembri to the courts. Schembri has even confirmed under oath that they were friends and had also holidayed together on occasion. It has also been confirmed by inspectors that Joseph Muscat, Schembri, and Fenech had a shared WhatsApp group between themselves.
Meanwhile, Theuma has repeatedly said that while he cannot confirm himself, he believes Schembri was part of the murder plot. Theuma was granted a no-work government job by Schembri soon after he had commissioned the murder. He took a photo with Schembri in Castille during that meeting.
Schembri has recently been charged related to two magisterial inquiries: one involving alleged kickbacks from the passports scheme: the other involving Progress Press’ purchase of printing equipment.
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