Civil society NGO Repubblika is insisting that the police and the competent authorities have a duty to inform the public about what was happening in the investigations into alleged crimes carried out by Keith Schembri at others.
Schembri, who had been chief of staff to disgraced former PM Joseph Muscat, was arrested on Tuesday, as were Brian Tonna and Karl Cini from Nexia BT. He was released on police bail that same day.
The NGO said that it appreciated that investigations into the matter were complex, and that some information may need to be kept under wraps until investigations were complete.
But it also highlighted the following:
- The basic facts regarding the alleged crimes have been known since 2017;
- As was confirmed in testimony during the public inquiry regarding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, for two whole years, the police and the authorities did not want to investigate or react to these alleged crimes;
- Keith Schembri is no ordinary person: he was the unelected but most powerful official with effective political influence within the government of Malta between 2013 and 2019;
- The delays so far raise reasonable suspicions that Keith Schembri and others had plenty of opportunity to hide or destroy evidence that could have been used against them. This suspicion is ever present.
It thus expected that at such a delicate moment, clear and comprehensive information is provided to all media channels so as “to ensure that this investigation is not used in a political game by the political sympathisers of the suspects, in order to ultimately guarantee impunity to the criminals.”
It highlighted that among the questions that remain is what has happened to Tonna and Cini now that more than 48 hours have passed since their arrest.
“Who is arrested? Who has been released on police bail? What are the crimes being investigated? The country deserves official answers to these questions, Repubblika concluded.