Yorgen Fenech's request to remove lead investigator in Caruana Galizia murder rejected

Fenech claims Superintendent Keith Arnaud, who is leading the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, has a conflict of interest due to his relationship with Keith Schembri

Yorgen Fenech's request for the removal of Superintendent Keith Arnaud from the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia ended in failure this morning, with a court declining to exercise its jurisdiction on the grounds that Fenech had not first exhausted his ordinary remedies.

In the constitutional case that he had filed against the State Advocate, the Home Affairs Minister and Arnaud, Fenech claimed that Arnaud had a conflict of interest due to his relationship with Keith Schembri, the former Prime Minister's chief of staff, and a former acquaintance of Fenech.

Fenech is awaiting trial for his alleged involvement in the murder of Caruana Galizia.

Schembri had allegedly told Fenech that Arnaud had sought his assistance in getting his wife employed. Arnaud’s wife was subsequently employed by Infrastructure Malta in January 2019, Fenech had said.

Fenech also claimed that Arnaud had provided information about the murder investigation to Schembri, including details about the arrest of three suspects.

He also claimed that the superintendent had warned him to be careful when implicating others in the murder and had subsequently confirmed that he was referring to Schembri.

But in the judgement handed down by Mr Justice Lawrence Mintoff in the First Hall, Civil Court in its constitutional jurisdiction earlier today, the court rejected Fenech's claims, stating that he had not exhausted his ordinary remedies before filing the constitutional case.

The court said that Fenech should have filed a criminal complaint, followed by challenge proceedings before the court of Magistrates if he had incriminating evidence against Schembri.

It also noted that Fenech's claims could have been addressed in a practical, efficient, and effective manner had he followed the correct legal procedures.

The defendants were declared non-suited, with the court ruling that only the police commissioner, who was ultimately responsible for the murder investigation, was the correct defendant.