‘No basis’ to remove lead investigator in Caruana Galizia murder, police say

Police say there is no reason for Inspector Keith Arnaud to be removed from the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation, following a request by Yorgen Fenech for his removal

Inspector Keith Arnaud (in white) is the lead investigator in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation
Inspector Keith Arnaud (in white) is the lead investigator in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation

Inspector Keith Arnaud will remain part of the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the police have said following a request by Yorgen Fenech to have him removed.

In a statement on Thursday evening, the police said there was no basis for the removal of Arnaud, and that the results achieved to date in the investigation were testament to this.

Earlier today, Fenech - who was last week arrested in connection with the assassination - reportedly sent a letter, through his lawyer, to the Police Commissioner asking him for Arnaud to be removed from the investigation.

According to reports on Net News, Fenech alleged that Arnaud had been continuously informing the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff Keith Schembri - who was himself arrested on Tuesday night -  on the progress in the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s murder.

Fenech also alleged in the letter that, following his arrest on 20 November, Arnaud had advised him to “be responsible” when it came to what he told the police.

The police, however, said that Arnaud had been leading the investigation since the start, and that Europol had been actively assisting with it.

Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit had been continuously updated with developments in the case, moreover.

“The investigations will remain under way without interruptions, and it is taking so long because of the nature and circumstances of the case, where the police are gathering all types of evidence possible and investigating all allegations and the various versions of events given to police, in order for the truth to emerge,” the police said.

Fenech letter also claimed that Schembri had helped Arnaud's wife secure a job with Infrastructure Malta, and that she was subsequently recruited by the authority in January 2019.

Infrastructure Malta denied this in statement, saying that the employee in question had been recruited to a clerical post following the normal Jobsplus procedure.

“In fact, there were 53 eligible candidates on the Jobsplus list. Only two of these eligible candidates responded to the public call to fill two vacancies for this post of clerical officer, issued through the normal Jobsplus channels,” Infrastructure Malta said.

“Both eligible candidates sat for an interview before an interviewing board and were successful. The two candidates were offered the post, but only one accepted it and started working with Infrastructure Malta,” it added.