Slain reporter's family want Malta police to probe PM

Clay Curtis
December 3, 2019

"As prime minister, I promised two years ago that justice would be done in the case of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia", Muscat said to open his speech, adding that "today I am here to tell you that I kept my word".

The Dutch liberal MEP Sophie in 't Veld, who is leading the European parliament's emergency fact-finding mission to Malta, said she was "not reassured" after meeting Joseph Muscat and his justice minister, Owen Bonnici. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said Sunday Dec. 1, 2019, that he would resign in January following pressure from citizens for the truth about the 2017 vehicle bombing that killed a journalist. Both were mentioned in Caruana Galizia's reports. "[Yorgen] Fenech wasn't acting alone".

Over the weekend, a multimillionaire business tycoon who authorities believe was the mastermind behind the auto bomb attack, Yorgen Fenech, was charged with complicity in her murder.

The prime minister has insisted he is acting with impartiality, and that it is under his watch that three men were arrested and charged with detonating the auto bomb that killed Ms Caruana Galizia.

The integrity of the investigation had suffered serious prejudice by the fact that he had practically been forced to ask the Prime Minister for the opportunity to testify against one of his closest aides, and one he had chosen, appointed and defended for many years. He has also requested a presidential pardon in exchange for information on the journalist's murder.

Caruana Galizia had written extensively about corruption in political and business circles in the EU's smallest state. One of the journalist's final investigations was a leak of data from his businesses.

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Both men had been suing Caruana Galizia for libel over allegations she made about their business deals.

Fenech has denied being the mastermind and sought legal immunity in return for revealing information about the murder plot and about alleged corruption involving Muscat's former chief of staff Keith Schembri and former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, among others, court filings showed. They deny any wrongdoing.

Schembri was arrested last week, but released two days later, fuelling accusations of a cover-up. Police said that after an "intensive investigation" they no longer felt the need to hold him.

Muscat said in a televised message that he had informed Maltese President George Vella that he would quit as leader of the governing Labor Party on January 12 and that "in the days after I will resign as prime minister".

On 26 November, some journalists' groups voiced concerns that the prime minister may have a conflict of interest since his wife and administration were at the centre of Caruana Galizia's reporting. "Justice can not be served with an illegitimate prime minister at the helm".

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