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Thu, 23 Jan 2020 07:33 GMT

Ex-Aide to Malta’s PM Denies Leaking Information Over Murdered Journalist


7Dnews London

Wed, 18 Dec 2019 17:08 GMT

An ex-aide to Malta's prime minister, Keith Schembri, has denied on Wednesday December 18th, leaking details about a probe into the killing of an anti-corruption reporter, to the suspect accused of planning her murder, Reuters reported. 

Schembri denied writing a letter to the suspected mastermind, Yorgen Fenech, to instruct him what to tell police, following Fenech's arrest over the killing of the journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, in October 2017. She had exposed corruption at the highest levels in government and business circles according to The Guardian.

Last month, Fenech, a businessman, was arrested while he tried to leave Malta on his yacht. He has been accused of involvement in the murder, which revealed corruption in the European Union's smallest country.

Fenech denies the charge, and also involved Schembri in the murder, asking lead investigator, Keith Arnaud, to be taken off the case because, he said, Arnaud and Schembri are close.

Schembri said he had attended briefings which the security service gave Prime Minister Joseph Muscat about the murder, but said he did not leak any information about these briefings to Fenech.

"We only discussed what was reported in the media," Schembri said, as a witness at a court hearing into Fenech's complaint, against the investigator, Arnaud.

He said he had spoken to Fenech by phone for 20 minutes before the businessman tried to leave Malta but denied he had tried to help him leave Malta.

The killing of a top journalist in an EU member state had raised attention as to the effective rule of law in Malta.