What’s in Fenech, Muscat and Schembri’s WhatsApp chats?

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The contents of a WhatsApp group chat involving former prime minister Joseph Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri and Yorgen Fenech are likely to be made public this month or the next, when Europol officers testify on the wealth of data mined from Fenech’s mobile phone.

The existence of this group chat was confirmed during the testimony of Insp. Kurt Zahra during the compilation of evidence against Fenech, who stands accused of ordering the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Zahra was replying to questions made by Caruana Galizia family lawyer Jason Azzopardi during cross-examination.

The inspector did not elaborate on the contents of the chat, and neither was he asked to do so by the defence or by Azzopardi.

Newsbook.com.mt is informed that Muscat had been asked about this group when he was questioned under caution last month. When he had come out of the police headquarters, Muscat had said that he was mainly questioned on things which were public and which he had already spoken publicly about, though he added that he was not at liberty to elaborate on what was discussed.

Sources that spoke to Newsbook.com.mt stated that while the group chat was not initiated to discuss Caruana Galizia, it was still deemed to be of interest by the police, likely because it betrayed close ties among the three. In Court, testimony revealed that Fenech said that the trio were “like brothers.”

The Europol officers are also expected to elaborate on other chats, including members of Prime Minister Robert Abela’s Cabinet. When this information came out, Abela had said that he had no issue with the chats that may have been made with Fenech, even if these were of an intimate nature and even after it emerged that the businessman owned 17 Black, the Emirati company linked to the secretive offshore structures set up by Schembri and former minister Konrad Mizzi. He said that he would have a problem, however, if the chats continued after Fenech was named as a suspect in the assassination of Caruana Galizia.

During an interview earlier on Sunday, Abela said that he would be ready to act against Muscat if necessary.

Today’s edition of Illum revealed that thousands of WhatsApp chats involving Fenech are to be exhibited in Court. Though some involve Cabinet members, others include people close to embattled PN leader Adrian Delia, including Pierre Portelli, who had headed the party’s media until resigning last year.

The newspaper said that the chats which are to be exhibited took place between January and September 2019, when Fenech’s ownership of 17 Black had already become public knowledge.