Silvio Valletta watched Champions League Final with Yorgen Fenech in May 2018

Silvio Valletta was still handling the Caruana Galizia murder case when he travelled with suspect Yorgen Fenech in May to watch Liverpool play Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev

Yorgen Fenech and Silvio Valletta went to Kiev together to watch Liverpool take on Real Madrid in Kiev, the tickets for which were paid by the businessman
Yorgen Fenech and Silvio Valletta went to Kiev together to watch Liverpool take on Real Madrid in Kiev, the tickets for which were paid by the businessman

Former deputy police commissioner Silvio Valletta watched the Champions League Final with Yorgen Fenech in Kiev, Ukraine, back in May 2018. Fenech has since then been charged with masterminding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Valletta has confirmed travelling to Kiev with Fenech, in what is the latest twist after Times of Malta revealed that the pair had gone to watch another game in London in September 2018.

In May 2018, Valletta was still handling the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case and Fenech was considered a possible suspect. According to court testimony of Inspector Keith Arnaud, chief investigator in the murder case, middleman Melvin Theuma's phone had started being tapped in the first week of May. 

Fenech had also been identified as the owner of Dubai company 17 Black by the Maltese Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, in a report submitted to the police force around this time. 

Valletta was still a board member of the FIAU and deputy police chief. He took a step back from the Caruana Galizia case in June 2018 when a court ruled that he should not oversee proceedings given a potential conflict of interest as a result of his marriage to a government minister.

The judgement was confirmed on appeal in October 2018. 

A video on Fenech's mobile phone also showed Valletta playing around behind the wheel of the businessman's Rolls Royce.

On Monday evening, Valletta was questioned at police headquarters. He denied knowing Fenech was a murder suspect and denied any wrongdoing.

In a comment to Times of Malta, Valletta said, "I worked so hard for this case, do you think I would willingly jeopardise all that work?" 

Valletta said that he knew there was an issue between Theuma and Fenech but not that Fenech was a murder suspect. He is reported saying that, with hindsight, he regrets having gone abroad with Fenech.

Valletta's wife, former Cabinet minister Justyne Caruana was forced to resign her post as Gozo minister as a result of the revelations. 

How did we get to this stage? 

April 2016

Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) chief, Manfred Galdes, hands incriminating evidence on OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri directly to Police Commissioner Michael Cassar.

27 April 2016

Michael Cassar resigns from his post, citing health reasons. He is replaced by Lawrence Cutajar. 

16 October 2017

Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia dies in a car bomb that detonated outside her home in Bidnija. 

4 December 2017

Three men are arrested in connection with her murder: brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, and Vince Muscat. 

May 2018

According to court testimony, middleman Melvin Theuma's phone is tapped in the first week of May and alleged mastermind Yorgen Fenech's phone is tapped sometime later. 

The phone-tapping would have been conducted by the Malta Security Service and would have had to receive authorisation from then prime minister Joseph Muscat. 

At this time, deputy police chief Silvio Valletta went to Kiev with Fenech to watch Liverpool FC take on Real Madrid for the Champions League Final. The tickets to the match were paid for by Fenech.

June 2018

Judge Silvio Meli orders that deputy police chief Silvio Valletta desists from taking part in the investigation and orders his involvement in the investigation to be re-examined by his replacement. 

This was the result of a court case filed by the Caruana Galizia family in 2017, accusing Valletta of a conflict of interest because of his marriage to a cabinet minister and his role as a board member of the FIAU. 

Attorney General Peter Grech appealed the judgement. Valletta pulls out of the investigation out of his own volition without waiting for the appeal to conclude.

29 July 2018

Valletta is removed from the FIAU, 10 months after Occupy Justice activists called for his withdrawal due to conflict of interest, being married to a Cabinet minister.

29 September 2018

Valletta goes to the United Kingdom with Yorgen Fenech. Fenech is already a suspect in the murder investigation and his phone is already tapped at this point.

Valletta goes to Stamford Bridge in London to watch another football match between Chelsea and Liverpool. Video on Fenech's phone also shows Valletta inside the businessman's Rolls Royce around this time.

7 December 2018

Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana leaves parliament ahead of a debate on the Nationalist Party motion calling for an independent inquiry into the murder. The motion also includes a mention of Valletta's conflict of interest, which prompts Caruana to renounce participation in the debate.

"I want to assure my children, who for the past year have had to live with a police escort because of undue attention given to my family, that their father performed his job well, leading to results like never before. I want to assure my children that their father and I did nothing to be ashamed of and that our actions were always righteous and in the best interest of the country," an emotional Caruana tells parliament.

20 November 2019

Yorgen Fenech is arrested after he is intercepted at sea aboard his yacht, which had left the Portomaso Marina in St Julian's at 5.30am.

December 2019

Middleman Melvin Theuma, after being granted a presidential pardon in November, testifies before a court, saying that he was aware that his phone was tapped back in May 2018 because Yorgen Fenech had told him to use Whatsapp, where phone calls are encrypted. 

He also says that in April 2018, Fenech had informed him that a Cabinet meeting was taking place and was discussing a presidential pardon for one of the three accused of Caruana Galizia's murder, Vince Muscat.

He claims that Keith Schembri was Fenech's informant throughout this time.

January 2020 

Justyne Caruana is reappointed Gozo Minister after Robert Abela replaces Joseph Muscat as Prime Minister.

Caruana resigns from her post after information related to her husband's friendship with Fenech is revealed.