TIMELINE | How did we get here? From the middleman’s arrest to Keith Schembri

In less than ten days, the recommendation of a pardon to the suspected middleman leads investigations to the highest halls of power

Tuesday, 19 November: Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says he will recommend a special pardon to suspected middleman in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder who committed himself to reveal what he knows.

Alleged middleman is revealed to be Melvin Theuma, a taxi driver from Birkirkara previously implicated in loan sharking.

Before a cabinet meeting, ministers tell journalists they support Muscat’s decision to award the presidential pardon.

Wednesday, 20 November: Tumas group magnate and 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech is intercepted by AFM patrol boats as he is leaving Portomaso on his yacht at 5am. He is placed under arrest and escorted to police headquarters in Floriana.

Former Nationalist Party leader calls for the resignation of Muscat after the arrest of the Electrogas investor.

Later in the afternoon, Fenech announces his resignation from directorships of family companies and Electrogas, the consortium owning Malta’s LNG power plant.

Thursday, 21 November: Protestors attending a call for an anti-corruption demonstration by NGO Repubblika hold a vociferous rally outside parliament. Justice minister Owen Bonnici’s ministerial car is damaged in the fray. A policewoman is injured.

Fenech spends a night in police custody. His arrest prompts value of Tumas Group’s bonds to tumble.

Friday, 22 November: Second anti-corruption protest draws hundreds of demonstrators in Castille square. Protestors call for the resignations of Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, both of whom have links to the business magnate still in custody.

Saturday, 23 November: Fenech interrogation interrupted for 24 hours after the suspect complains of chest pains. He is released on police bail and escorted to Mater Dei hospital on the recommendation of his personal doctor.

He later requests a presidential pardon in return for evidence.

Economy Minister Chris Cardona is questioned by the police over his possible involvement in Caruana Galizia’s murder.

Sunday, 24 November: PN signs unanimous resolution calling for Muscat’s immediate resignation.

In late afternoon, Fenech is returned to police custody.

A member of Cardona’s secretariat is also questioned in relation to the murder.

Monday, 25 November: Education minister Evarist Bartolo is the first Labour minister to call for the resignation of Schembri and Mizzi.

Chased by journalists, Schembri walks into Castille and does not give a comment on whether he would resign.

Mizzi is defiant, says he has no responsibility to shoulder and no links with 17 Black.

In the afternoon, Muscat calls a secret confidence vote among his MPs and he is backed unanimously.

Opposition requests an urgent parliamentary debate on ramifications of the Caruana Galizia murder investigation. Speaker rules against the call, says such a debate is ‘premature.’

Third protest outside parliament demands immediate resignations. Opposition leader Adrian Delia is booed alongside government MPs as they exit the chambers.

Late at night, Schembri’s car is spotted outside Prime Minister’s home in Burmarrad.

Tuesday, 26 November: Joseph Muscat confirms that his chief of staff Keith Schembri has tendered his resignation.

Schembri is later taken in for questioning at the police headquarters.

Fenech mentions Schembri’s name during police investigations.

A nationwide power cut takes everyone by surprises in the afternoon. Konrad Mizzi leaves Castille after cabinet meeting and says that, after much deliberation, he has decided to resign.

READ MORE: Meltdown  A nationwide power outage. And the nation’s powers’ outage 

Chris Cardona suspends himself from deputy leader of the Labour party. Three key players in Muscat’s Labour government have resigned.

Fourth protest outside parliament draws thousands and is an unbridled demonstration. Muscat and Labour MPs are pelted with eggs and carrots, metal barriers are pushed and hurled.

Wednesday, 27 November: Yorgen Fenech’s family doctor, Adrian Vella, is questioned by police on the suspicion of having obstructed justice when Fenech was admitted to hospital with chest pains.

Caruana Galizia family appeals for an urgent meeting with the Attorney General over Fenech’s request for a presidential pardon.

Opposition walks out of parliament as Muscat insists that nobody is yet accused of the assassination.

Fifth Repubblika protest finds more barriers across parliament, limited space to demonstrate. Protestors block roads and demand Muscat’s resignation.

Fenech names Keith Schembri as the mastermind behind the journalist’s murder. Police say they are threading claims with caution.

Thursday, 28 November: Recordings kept by middleman of conversations he had with Yorgen Fenech reveal that Fenech paid €450,000 for murder.

It is revealed that Keith Schembri attended multiple meetings between Prime Minister, the police and the Malta Security Service. 

Schembri is released from police custody. Police claim that there is no reason to keep him arrested.

Friday, 29 November: Yorgen Fenech files a warrant of prohibitory injunction and claims he has recordings and a contract implicating Keith Schembri.

Muscat calls an urgent cabinet meeting that runs until 4am. He claims the Labour parliamentary group decided to not grant the presidential pardon to Yorgen Fenech.

Muscat releases a statement saying that Fenech messaged him saying that unless the Prime Minister advised in favour of a pardon, he would implicate him over two telephone conversations

Fenech takes a casual walk through Valletta from the law courts to his defence's office, dodging a barrage of questions from the press, claiming he does not have faith in chief inspector Keith Arnaud who he claims is close to Schembri.

Saturday, 30 November: Reports read that cabinet ministers during the six-hour cabinet meeting heard how Chris Cardona could have been framed for the journalist's murder. Cardona asks for parliamentary protection.

MaltaToday reveals a photograph depicting Keith Schembri and middleman Melvin Theuma in Castille. Schembri knows Theuma as well as Yorgen Fenech.

Sunday, 1 December: Labour parliamentary group convenes at Girgenti to discuss Muscat's exit strategy. Chris Cardona is reinstated minister.

Thousands gather in Valletta for a protest calling for Muscat's resignation. 

Muscat delivers a televised message and says he will resign next year with a new leader by 12 January.

Monday, 2 December: Rule of law MEP delegation announces urgent mission to Malta, lands in the night. 

Parliament square is besieged by metal barricades. MPs are blocked from exiting parliament as flash protests surrounds all sides. Sport parliamentary secretary Clifton Grima and Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina grapple outside parliament.

Labour MPs are pelted with eggs, carrots and fake money. 

Labour party activists, against the advice of Labour party officials, gather outside Hamrun Labour Party HQ in their hundreds.

Tuesday, 3 December: MEP delegates meet with the Prime Minister, Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and others. NGO Repubblika hosts a protest outside the police headquarters.

President delivers address to the nation, calling for unity in difficult times. 

Wednesday, 4 December: Parliament is adjourned early for a long Christmas recess. 

300 University academics and civil society groups call for the immediate resignation of Joseph Muscat on fears that investigation might be tampered with. 

Rule of law delegation concludes its meetings, says it is concerned with Muscat's decision to stay in office until January. 

Middleman Melvin Theuma finally testifies after pardon, says he was given a bogus job at Castille by head of customer care, Sandro Craus, and mentions a Kenneth Camilleri, a former security officer at OPM, as someone who was likely given instructions by Schembri.

Camilleri immediately suspended from his Transport Malta job. 

Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar says Theuma was not employed in the public sector. A Jobsplus document reveals that he indeed was, with Cutajar claiming later that such documents were found. 

Thursday, 5 December: Joseph Muscat says that Keith Schembri's name never cropped up in security briefings.

OPM envoy, Neville Gafà — embroiled in his own controversy surrounding a medical visa racket in Libya — is seen speeding out of the villa complex in Mellieha where Keith Schembri resides. 

More in National