Maltese prosecutors charge prominent businessman as accomplice in Daphne Caruana Galizia case

Wednesday, 04 Dec, 2019

A subsequent inquiry cleared the Muscats of any involvement with Egrant, finding significant contradictions in Caruana Galizia's claims. He has denied any connection with the murder.

The prime minister should have resigned immediately in order to "defuse the dangerously rising tensions" in the country, The Times of Malta said.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a auto bomb in October 2017.

"Justice can not be served with an illegitimate Prime Minister at the helm", Delia wrote on Twitter.

"In the coming period, we will initiate a process so that our country will have a new Prime Minister, a Prime Minister who will continue the work and the strong mandate of this Government".

Fenech was identified in 2016 as the owner of Dubai-registered 17 Black in the Panama Papers, a collection of leaked confidential documents showing how wealthy and powerful companies around the world use tax havens to get around the law. They have denied any wrongdoing though they had been accused of corruption by the journalist.

Caruana Galizia wrote shortly before her death that corruption was everywhere in political and business circles in the tiny European Union island nation. In her final blog, she wrote: "There are crooks everywhere you look now". "The situation is desperate".

She was killed in a auto bomb attack after driving away from her home in Mosta, a town outside Malta's capital of Valletta. The explosion was forceful enough to throw the vehicle off the road and into a field.

When Muscat going backwards exactly?

The announcement came after two weeks of mounting pressure and popular protests calling for Mr Muscat to quit for his handling of the probe into Caruana Galizia's auto bomb killing. He was among the government members targeted by her investigative reporting.

However, prosecutors were unable to track down the organizers and masterminds behind the vehicle bombing, and the investigation quickly stalled. Theuma, who has been officially pardoned after agreeing to testify about his role, named Fenech as the man who paid for the operation.

Yorgen Fenech, a 53-year-old hotelier and former director of the Maltese power company, appeared in court in Valletta.

According to emails published by Caruana Galizia, millions in taxpayers' money have been siphoned off by middlemen in contracts for energy production in Delimara. However, unlike the Fenech, none of the ex-officials have been charged in the case.

Police sources have said they regard Fenech as having masterminded the plot. Maltese military personnel halted the vessel as it set out to sea from a marina built by Mr. Fenech's family conglomerate, Tumus Group, and forced it to return to port.

The police, however, subsequently said in a statement that Arnaud would remain part of the investigation, since there was "no basis" for his removal, and that the results achieved to date in the investigation were testament to this.

Caruana Galizia alleged that Mr Schembri and Mr Mizzi had benefited from secretive "shell companies".

"Our position, unequivocally, is that [Muscat] has to go", the son, himself a reporter, told DW.

Fenech who is also one of the richest in Malta will be spending the rest of his life in prison.

On Tuesday, Konrad Mizzi resigned and Chris Cardona took the decision to suspend himself after being questioned by police. He previously denied any wrongdoing.