Prime Minister visits the President after Cabinet refuses Yorgen Fenech pardon

Joseph Muscat briefs President George Vella on the latest developments as his government faces its biggest political crisis yet

President George Vella (left) with Joseph Muscat. File Photo: DOI
President George Vella (left) with Joseph Muscat. File Photo: DOI

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is at the President on Friday morning to brief him on the latest developments as his government faces its biggest political crisis yet.

The visit comes hours after the Cabinet unanimously decided against the granting of a pardon to businessman Yorgen Fenech in relation to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Sources said Muscat's visit is also part of the protocol after President George Vella yesterday received Opposition leader Adrian Delia. The Nationalist Party leader had requested the meeting in the wake of the political crisis unfolding as a result of the murder investigation's ramifications.

Muscat is likely to formally inform the President of the Cabinet's decision.

The situation complicated itself yesterday when Fenech's lawyers wrote directly to the President to request a pardon for their client, insisting the Prime Minister had a conflict of interest and could not evaluate any such request.

During police questioning, Fenech identified the former chief of staff of the prime minister Keith Schembri as the mastermind behind the murder. However, after being arrested for several hours and questioned, police released Schembri after finding no evidence to corroborate what Fenech was telling them.

There is little the President can do in these circumstances, given the limitations imposed on him by the Constitution.

More in National