[WATCH] Konrad Mizzi resigns, Chris Cardona suspends himself

Cabinet ministers Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona step down in wake of developments in Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation

Konrad Mizzi has resigned
Konrad Mizzi has resigned

Konrad Mizzi has tendered his resignation from minister while Chris Cardona has suspended himself as political pressure mounts on Joseph Muscat’s government.

The resignations come hours after the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri resigned his post.

They come hot on the heels of developments in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation.

Just after leaving an intense Cabinet meeting, Mizzi said he resigned from minister but would retain his parliamentary seat. "I have reflected hard... it is my duty to step down from minister so that the government will have the serenity to continue for its full term," Mizzi said.

He added that he took his decision out of loyalty to Joseph Muscat, the party and the country. Mizzi reiterated his stand that he had no direct or indirect connection to 17 Black and Yorgen Fenech.

A statement released by the Economy Ministry announced that Chris Cardona was "suspending himself with immediate effect from his position as minister pending the investigations and proceedings going on right now".

Cardona said the decision was taken following a discussion with the Prime Minister.

"Dr Cardona declares that he has absolutely no connection with the case, but after police had asked for further clarifications, he feels duty bound to take this step in the national interest," the statement said.

Schembri has been questioned by the police all throughout Tuesday. It is unclear what he is being questioned about.

Cardona was questioned briefly by the police last Saturday but was not under arrest.

Pressure has been mounting on Schembri and Mizzi to resign after Yorgen Fenech was arrested in connection with the Caruana Galizia murder.

Schembri and Mizzi had business links with Fenech’s secretive Dubai company 17 Black, which had been listed as a target client of the pair’s Panama companies.

Cardona had sued Caruana Galizia over a report that he had been seen at a brothel in Germany while on official government business.

There has been growing pressure from inside the Labour Party for the Prime Minister to purge Schembri, Mizzi and Cardona.

More to follow.