Attorney General prosecutor found dead in Swieqi home, police 'exclude nothing'

A prosecutor at the Attorney General’s Office was found dead by relatives, with police saying that investigations and an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death

Karl Muscat (right) was found dead at his Swieqi property on Triq is-Sirk
Karl Muscat (right) was found dead at his Swieqi property on Triq is-Sirk

Updated at 8pm with further details

A prosecutor at the Attorney General’s Office has been found dead in his Swieqi home, but investigations have not yet established whether foul play was involved in his death.

The body of 43-year-old Karl Muscat was found at his home in Swieqi.

Police spokesperson Brandon Pisani said nothing is being excluded by the police, but said police did not believe that any third parties were involved “at this point”.

“The way the body was found means nothing can be excluded until the exact cause of death is established by an autopsy,” Pisani said.

MaltaToday is informed that no external signs of violence were seen on the body, but initial information suggested that the interior of the house "had been turned upside down". 

However, Pisani denied that the house had been ransacked. 

According to information received at MaltaToday, Muscat had recently been suspended from duties over what has been described as a contravention committed under the influence of alcohol.

A source with knowledge of the proceedings added that suspension was a standard procedure whenever a prosecutor faces any charges.

The son of former Nationalist junior minister for telecommunications Pierre Muscat, who had passed away in 1990, Muscat was formerly a Nationalist Party local councillor for Rabat, elected in 2019. He then resigned in October 2020 to take up his post with the Office of the Attorney General. Politically, he had fronted a petition supporting the leadership of Adrian Delia in 2019 at a time of party infighting.

It was at 12:45pm that police received information that a man had been found dead in a Swieqi residence. His relatives were the one who made the call. A medical team was called on the scene to assist the victim, but he was declared dead on the spot.

Pisani said the death is being described as “equivocal”, meaning police are not excluding anything at this point. Magistrate Gabriella Vella is leading an inquiry.

Justice minister Jonathan Attard sent condolences to Muscat’s family. “I appeal for respect from the public towards the family, with respect to ongoing investigations.”

Opposition leader Bernard Grech paid tribute to the memory of Muscat as a “gentle and prudent man”.

“I fondly remember the discussions we had together on both politics and law, where he nostalgically reminisced about his father... I express our condolences on behalf of the Nationalist Party with the Muscat family for this loss.”

Money laundering prosecutor

The prosecutor had earned praise from the Maltese courts for attending several high-profile money laundering sittings instead of his colleagues when they were on strike.

In March Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech Court praised lawyer Karl Muscat for his dedication in the proceedings against Yorgen Fenech, the man accused of masterminding the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and Vince Buhagiar, the former chairman of Progress Press and Allied Group director accused of laundering kickbacks from former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri’s Kasco Group.

Muscat was also leading the case against Ryan Schembri, the former More Supermarkets owner, who had fled the country in 2014 with a reported €40 million in debts.

Muscat was also representing the AG’s office in the proceedings against Christian Borg and five others individuals, accused of kidnapping a man in Rabat and threatening to cut off his fingers and rape his sister.

Metsola weighs in

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola reacted to the news in shock, recalling how she got to know Muscat through his days in the Rabat local council. 

"For him, politics was a means to be of service to the commmunity. He gave this same service during his legal career," she said. 

"In this moment, it's not easy to find words to comfort Karl's relatives. Have courage in this really difficult time."