From Black Monday to Black Friday

Episodes of Malta’s horror story

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

October 16, 2017 – Daphne Caruana Galizia is assassinated by a car bomb just as she left her home in Bidnija. She had just finished her final blog. “There are crooks everywhere, the situation is desperate,” she wrote. The country was shocked, but not just the country. Her assassination sent reverberation across the European Union and the rest of the world.

December 2017 – After a spectacular land and sea operation by the police, Vince Muscat and the two Degiorgio brothers were arrested and charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017. In July 2019, they were indicted. 

April, 2018. Reuters receives information that Vince Muscat provided evidence against the Degiorgio brothers and the alleged middleman, Melvin Theuma, detailing how the murder plot had been planned and carried out. Vince Muscat claims that the request for a pardon in return for this testimony was refused.

November, 2019Peter, a spaniel which works for the customs was screening passengers when he alerted his handlers to the smell of €210,000 (£178,000) in the belongings of a man preparing to board a flight to Istanbul. Following this arrest, on 14 November 2019 Melvin Theuma was arrested in connection to the case related to money-laundering. 

19 November 2019. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat promised Melvin Theuma a conditional pardon. While under custody Theuma had spilled the beans and mentioned Yorgen Fenech detailing how he had commissioned and paid for the murder. Yorgen Fenech, was identified as the owner of 17 Black, the company which was meant to make  payments to secret offshore companies owned by Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.

20 November 2019.  Fenech was arrested close to Pembroke as he attempted leaving Malta on his yacht at around 0530h. 

21 November 2019. Prime Minister Muscat stated that Theuma’s request for a pardon had not yet been granted as by that time he had not provided “full information”.

23 November 2019. Yorgen Fenech is admitted to hospital suffering from chest pains. He later claimed that during this period, his personal Doctor Adrian Vella transmitted messages to him from Keith Schembri. Vella was later arrested and reportedly and confessed to this.

Fenech had mentioned Schembri’s name to the police in relation to several cases of corruption and that Schembri’s name appeared in recordings of conversations between Fenech and Theuma.

23 November 2019.  Former Minsiter Chris Cardona was called in by the police for interrogations. 

25 November 2019. Theuma was formally granted the conditional pardon.  

25 November 2019. Keith Schembri and Minister Konrad Mizzi resigned. Minister Cardona ‘suspended himself’ from cabinet and as deputy leader of the Labour Party.

26 November 2019. Keith Schembri is questioned by police after being arrested. The interrogations centred on Fenech mentioning Schembri in relation to several cases of corruption and that Schembri’s name appeared in recordings of conversations between Fenech and Theuma.

26 November 2019.  Yorgen Fenech has once more been given police bail, for the third time.

28 Novermber 2019. Fenech implicated the prime minister’s former chief of staff Keith Schembri as the mastermind in the murder.

On the same day the Prime Minister Muscat announced his hope that the investigation would be completed “within hours”.

In the evening the police announced that Keith Schembri had been released without charge.

Late evening a Cabinet meeting was summoned. During the meeting Prime Minister Muscat announced that Yorgen Fenech’s request for pardon was not going to be granted.

29 November 2019. Yorgen Fenech has been granted police bail once again. This is the fourth time that Fenech has been granted police bail. Fenech is being interrogated for crimes in relation to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Fenech has been denied government pardon after a long cabinet meeting Thursday night-Friday morning.

29 November 2019. It was reported that Prime Minister Muscat had informed colleagues and the president of his intention to resign “imminently”. It was also reported that Fenech had named Joseph Muscat in a sworn statement to police.