Muscat denies latest claim that he knew of Schembri’s alleged involvement in Caruana Galizia murder

Former prime minister Joseph Muscat denies Yorgen Fenech’s allegations that he was privy of Keith Schembri’s alleged involvement in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder

Keith Schembri with Joseph Muscat, in a photo posted to social media during a holiday in Italy in 2017
Keith Schembri with Joseph Muscat, in a photo posted to social media during a holiday in Italy in 2017

Joseph Muscat has denied a claim that he knew of his former aide Keith Schembri’s alleged involvement in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder.

The ex-prime minister “absolutely denied” the claim made by Yorgen Fenech to the police when asked for his reaction to today’s explosive court testimony.

Inspector Kurt Zahra testified in court today about what Fenech told police during his interrogation when he was arrested in November 2019.

Fenech alleged that the plan to kill Caruana Galizia was hatched by Schembri, who also paid €80,000 for the murder. Fenech, who stand charged with masterminding the assassination, also told police that after the murder, Muscat and two other people knew of Schembri’s involvement.

Fenech had also told police that he had discussed the murder with Muscat on at least two occasions.

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Posted by Joseph Muscat on Thursday, 27 August 2020

However, in a Facebook post, Muscat insisted that he had no prior knowledge of Caruana Galizia’s murder and denied ever discussing the case with Fenech.

Muscat said it was Fenech himself in recordings played in court, who had told Melvin Theuma it would be “crazy” for him to speak to the prime minister.

“But the police have in their possession a conversation, which shows that on the day when we were supposed to have discussed the [murder] case, the alleged mastermind sent me a message excusing himself that he was unable to talk to me because I had too many people around me,” Muscat wrote.

He also denied the allegation that he had passed on information on police raids that were to happen in the summer of 2019.

In court, Zahra testified how Fenech told police that Muscat informed him of a raid on Melvin Theuma at the start of the summer. However, Zahra also said that to his knowledge no such raids were planned for the period.

Muscat latched on to Zahra’s testimony, insisting that he could not have communicated information that had not been passed on to him, let alone a plan that the police had not yet considered.

Muscat reiterated that Fenech’s claims came after he was refused a presidential pardon and after was threatened of being implicated if he refused to recommend a pardon.

“I have always done my duty as prime minister and this led to the important development in this major case, contrary to other major murder cases in the past,” Muscat said.

Only last week, Muscat was called in for questioning at police headquarters on claims that Fenech had made last November and about a WhatsApp group between him, Schembri and Fenech.

READ ALSO: Police question Joseph Muscat over WhatsApp chats with Yorgen Fenech