Daphne Caruana Galizia: Malta businessman charged with complicity in homicide

Yorgen Fenech leaves the Malta Law Courts, in Valletta, Malta, 29 November, 2019Picture copyright

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Yorgen Fenech has been repeatedly questioned

Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech has been charged with complicity within the homicide of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017.

He pleaded not responsible to that cost and 4 others others together with membership of a legal gang.

Family members of the assassinated blogger have been current within the court docket in Valletta.

The investigation into Caruana Galizia’s demise has rocked the island’s authorities. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is underneath stress to resign.

His chief aide, Keith Schembri, stop this week amid studies he was being questioned by police, whereas Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi additionally resigned and Economic system Minister Chris Cardona took the choice to droop himself.

Three individuals are awaiting trial for Caruana Galizia’s homicide in a automotive bombing however the police investigation is now specializing in who ordered the killing and why.

Who’s Yorgen Fenech?

He has been repeatedly questioned over the killing since making an attempt to depart the island on his yacht on 20 November, and sought a pardon in return for offering info however his request was rejected.

Maltese media allege he was acquainted with Melvin Theuma, a taxi driver with hyperlinks to legal enterprises who has been described in native media as a possible “intermediary” within the homicide.

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Caruana Galizia reported on allegations referring to the Panama Papers earlier than her demise

Mr Fenech is a well known determine in Malta who has served as head of the Tumas enterprise group and a director of power firm Electrogas however not too long ago resigned from each positions.

He was recognized final 12 months as being the proprietor of a mysterious Dubai-registered firm, 17 Black.

The corporate was listed within the Panama Papers – confidential paperwork leaked from a Panamanian legislation agency in 2016 which revealed how the rich and highly effective use tax havens to get across the legislation.

Caruana Galizia had written about 17 Black eight months earlier than her demise, alleging it had hyperlinks to each Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.

‘Muscat should resign’

By Damian Grammaticas, BBC Europe correspondent, Valletta

Such has been the sensitivity of this case that Malta’s most important courthouse was opened specifically, late within the night for this listening to. Yorgen Fenech, one among Malta’s richest males, was introduced in underneath police guard.

The household of the murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, her mother and father, her sister, her husband and three sons have been all in court docket.

They heard Mr Fench deny costs of complicity in Ms Caruana Galizia’s homicide, of membership of a legal gang, and conspiracy in planting the automotive bomb that killed her.

Outdoors court docket Ms Caruana Galizia’s household mentioned it was now time for Mr Muscat to resign because the allegations of shady dealing stretch to these round him. To date although Mr Muscat has refused to go.

Why have occasions come to a head?

Investigations into Caruana Galizia’s homicide intensified when Mr Theuma was pardoned on Monday.

The prime minister advised parliament he was being given immunity in return for details about the killing. Maltese studies steered he had audio recordings linked to the case.

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Media captionPaul Caruana Galizia says his mom’s critics investigated her homicide

On Tuesday, Konrad Mizzi resigned and Chris Cardona took the choice to droop himself after being questioned by police. They deny involvement.

Mr Schembri, who had beforehand been named within the Panama Papers, stop.

Caruana Galizia alleged that Mr Schembri and Mr Mizzi had benefited from secretive “shell firms”. Each deny wrongdoing.

What do we all know concerning the homicide inquiry?

Three males – brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio and their good friend Vincent Muscat, all of their 50s – have been charged with triggering the bomb which killed Caruana Galizia close to her residence in October 2017. They have been arrested in December 2017 and pleaded not responsible in pre-trial proceedings.

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Getty Photographs for the Daphne Venture

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Caruana Galizia (pictured in 1989) was survived by her husband and kids

Vincent Muscat later advised police the bomb had been positioned in Caruana Galizia’s automotive whereas it was parked outdoors the walled compound the place she lived. The killings earned the trio 150,000 euros (£132,000), Reuters information company studies.