Police were sloppy with Keith Schembri: Cabinet ministers’ rage over chief of staff’s implication

INSIDE the Cabinet: as ministers demanded that chief of staff be interrogated, Keith Schembri was leaked details of conversation

Keith Schembri: Labour MP Robert Abela was said to have told Muscat, “that cuckold fucked you”
Keith Schembri: Labour MP Robert Abela was said to have told Muscat, “that cuckold fucked you”

Cabinet ministers who grilled Malta’s Commissioner of Police and the lead investigator in the Daphne Caruana Galizia investigation were “furious” to learn that Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri was not given a thorough interrogation.

Multiple sources who spoke to MaltaToday about last Thursday’s Cabinet meeting said ministers, especially those who are lawyers, were enraged at learning that Schembri was not questioned thoroughly on the contents of a letter he is believed to have passed on to suspect Yorgen Fenech, through the Tumas family doctor Adrian Vella.

Joseph Muscat was not present inside the room when the meeting was taking place, to discuss the request by Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech to be granted a presidential pardon to turn state’s evidence.

At one point, another staggering episode took place: after Labour MP Robert Abela railed at the prime minister and decried, “that cuckold fucked you” (‘dak il-kornut fottiek’), Abela’s wife Lydia Abela – the PL’s secretary to the executive – was called by Keith Schembri himself, who told her that “I know what your husband said about me.”

Additionally, ministers learnt that there had been “heavy traffic” of messaging between Fenech and Schembri the day before the millionaire’s attempted escape aboard his luxury yacht.

“When we saw the contents of the letter, we were amazed that police had seemingly taken Keith Schembri’s denial at face value.

“There had been no tests or DNA testing carried out on the letter… it seemed that everything Fenech and Melvin Theuma said was corroborated or scrutinised using technological means, but Schembri’s denial was OK for them.”

Ministers even confronted investigator Keith Arnaud several times as to whether he believed Schembri had authored the letter in which instructions were conveyed to pin the murder on minister Chris Cardona. “After repeated questioning, he conceded that it was possible that Schembri could have indeed been the letter’s author.”

Ministers, enraged at learning of the letter’s content, surmised that Schembri’s contacts with the police and even the Security Service were strong, with one minister concluding that the former chief of staff “must have passed on information to Yorgen Fenech.”

At one point, another staggering episode took place: later in the meeting, after Labour MP Robert Abela railed at the prime minister and decried, “that cuckold fucked you” (‘dak il-kornut fottiek’), Abela’s wife Lydia Abela – the PL’s secretary to the executive – was called by Keith Schembri himself, who told her that “I know what your husband said about me.”

“Schembri tried to call all ministers,” one minister told MaltaToday. “Everyone blocked him.”

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