Caruana case: premier's cabinet chief steps down - Malta


A scandal around the killing of journalist and anti-corruption campaigner Daphne Caruana Galizia brought renewed protests outside Malta's parliament on Monday, November 25, with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat jeered as he left the building.

The Economy Minister, Chris Cardona, took the decision to suspend himself on Tuesday. Three men were charged with planting the bomb and are awaiting trial, but the authorities haven't so far been able to say who hired them. He was summoned by police for questioning last Saturday.

Reuters reported past year that Fenech, whom investigators have named a person of interest, is listed as the owner of a mystery company linked to both Mizzi and Schembri.

The arrest of businessman Yorgen Fenech accelerated the pace of the investigation. He will be subjected to around-the-clock police surveillance.

Three people were arrested in December 2017 on suspicion of detonating the bomb that killed 53-year-old Caruana Galizia as she drove near her home.

One of Fenech's companies formed part of a consortium which was awarded a government contract in 2015 to build a power station.

Similar allegations were made by a key source in the case, the taxi driver and alleged intermediary between those who commissioned the murder and the killers, Melvin Melvin Theuma.

According to the Malta Independent, Theuma allegedly handed over to investigators audio recordings implicating Schembri. "More than half called on him to resign". The failure to prosecute Schembri, Mizzi and their protectors had fatal consequences for our wife and mother.

But, according to an informed person about the investigation, he began to provide more information that would "tear down the house", with substantial details of corruption and the complicity of other important figures in the murder. "We call for all hitmen, all middlemen, and all masterminds to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law", said UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.

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"Since this case is about persons very close to the prime minister, it should not be the prime minister or a member of his cabinet to give such advice", they said.

Three men - brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio and their friend Vincent Muscat, all in their 50s - have been charged with triggering the auto bomb which killed Caruana Galizia near her home in October 2017.

The court also ruled investigations were in order in the hospital transfer deal of two politicians who resigned ministry posts earlier this week.

Opposition politicians walked out of parliament, saying the Labour government of Joseph Muscat had lost all legitimacy.

Dunja Mijatovic, human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe, said she was "seriously concerned by recent allegations of political interference in the investigation" and called on Mr Muscat to prevent the appearance of collusion.

"My role at this time is to ensure that the country has a stable leadership".

Her family demanded on Friday that Muscat resign, after Schembri was released.

He was suing her at the time she was killed, in October 2017.