900 – the number of messages between Yorgen and Keith in 2019

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Sources close to the investigation related to the messages found on Yorgen Fenech’s mobile phone told Newsbook.com.mt that Keith Schembri, former Chief of Staff during Muscat’s prime ministership, and Yorgen Fenech, former Tumas Group supremo exchanged over 900 messages on WhatsApp during 2019. Fenech is currently facing charges of being one of the masterminds of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The same sources confirmed that most of the time Keith Schembri spent being interrogated by the police on Wednesday he was being quizzed about these messages. Our sources were very cagy about any other information regarding the content of the investigations.

“Many messages were innocuous in themselves”, they said. “Some informed the other that one was going abroad asking whether he would like to buy him a whiskey, for example. But the fact that a kingpin of the Muscat administration exchanges hundreds of messages with Yorgen Fenech clearly manifests the close relationship there was between them. That in itself is significant.”

Pressed by Newsbook.com.mt, the sources added: “The investigators were interested in the WhatsApp group between Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri and Yorgen Fenech”.

When Newsbook.com.mt pressed more for an answer the only comment we got was that the messages did not discuss money laundering.

“But don’t think that the hours long interrogation was a waste of time”, was the parting shot of our sources.

Background

On the 28th October 2020, Assistant Commissioner Alexandra Mamo who took over the Economic Crimes Unit said that criminal investigations were underway on the matters emanating from these now notorious chats.

In August, Inspector Keith Arnaud said that the investigations into Keith Schembri were not over yet. In the same sitting in the compilation of evidence against Fenech, Inspector Kurt Zahra said that that Yorgen Fenech told the Police that it was Schembri who told him to get the job done as soon as he knew of Thuema’s plan, adding that Yorgen Fenech, during the interrogations had also said that the plan to kill Daphne, originally was not his but Keith Schembri’s. This was denied by Schembri who added that PM Muscat had asked him to tell Fenech not to abscond.  

On the 22nd September, Joseph Muscat’s former right-hand man was granted police bail following his night-time arrest over suspected money laundering.

The police had also arrested Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna and Karl Cini following the conclusion of an inquiry into kickbacks Schembri allegedly received on the sale of passports. His police bail was meant to last till mid-October.