Malta may be one step closer to unravelling the real story behind why one of Malta’s most prolific journalists was assassinated by one of the island’s most prominent businessmen.
Daphne Caruana Galizia had angered many people through her scoops and revelations – so, what did she write about Yorgen Fenech that would lead to him masterminding an entire plot to murder her?
She first mentioned 17 Black – Fenech’s Dubai-based company suspected of being used to transfer funds to Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi – on 26th May 2017.
At this point, the knowledge that Yorgen Fenech owned 17 Black still wasn’t out, and in her post, she only links Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.
Later that day, in another post, she links 17 Black to the suspicion of money laundering.
Prior to that, she had written about the Electrogas Malta Ltd project extensively.
Caruana Galizia had honed in on the fact that the Maltese government had given a state-guaranteed loan of €360 million in public funds to Electrogas Malta as a time when the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan was going through massive amounts of money for leisure.
“While Muscat guarantees Electrogas Malta Ltd’s loan using €360 million in public funds, one of its shareholders, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, is currently burning up hundreds of thousands of euros a day on yachts for the corrupt ruling family of Azerbaijan, the Aliyevs, and their cronies,” she said.
“The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) owns a third of Electrogas Malta Ltd,” she continued. “The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project reports on its portal that friends and family of President Ilham Aliyev make free use of two yachts worth US$59 million, which for some strange reason are owned by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), the organisation which is supposed to manage Azerbaijan’s oil wealth for its citizens.”
“The yachts cost around US$12 million a year to run and maintain and burn up US$2,000 in fuel per hour.”
Caruana Galizia then reported when Electrogas started having financial troubles in May 2017, quoting inside sources.
Yorgen Fenech was a director of Electrogas Malta Ltd, but was said to have resigned on 12th November from the company, and was replaced by Paul Apap Bologna.
Interestingly, she only actually mentioned Yorgen Fenech by name one time on her blog, way back in 2013, and it was quoting him as a director at GEM Holdings from another article.
“‘Yorgen Fenech, a director at Gem Holdings, the Maltese company with a 30 per cent stake in the winning consortium, said the specialised storage ship has already been contracted.’
Perhaps the specialised storage ship administration offices operate on Sundays and are not averse to whipping up a contract there and then.
“The devil is in the detail, and the government isn’t bothering to pretend anymore. That’s how far things have slipped already in seven months.”
– Daphne Caruana Galizia, October 14th, 2013
Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated on the 16th of October, 2017, in a car bomb in Bidnija. Yorgen Fenech was arrested just over two years later, on the 20th of November, 2019.
What do you think of Daphne’s reporting over the years?