Yorgen Fenech’s defence claim Keith Schembri is not just a witness

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Police Inspector Keith Arnaud will not be the one to decide whether Yorgen Fenech is guilty or not but his work involves the gathering of all information in the case of the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, said State Advocate, Dr Chris Soler during the Constitutional Case sitting on Friday.

Fenech who stands accused of financing the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, is contesting the involvement of chief investigator police inspector Keith Arnaud in the murder investigation.

Judge Lawrence Mintoff is presiding the constitutional proceedings filed by murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.

Lawyers Marion Camilleri, Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca are assisting Yorgen Fenech. Lawyer Mercieca informed the court that his colleague Dr Caruana Curran could not attend the court sitting on Friday as he is under quarantine.

Dr Soler assured the court that the prosecution wants a fair hearing. It was also highlighted that after Fenech’s second request for presidential pardon was turned down, he started accusing Inspector Arnaud of being incompetent, lacking integrity and unreliable.

It was also stated that as soon a Keith Schembri, the former OPM Chief of Staff, was mentioned by Fenech in the investigations, Inspector Arnaud immediately started investigating together with the Police task force. Fenech’s defence team said that Keith Schembri is not just a witness.

Lawyer Charles Mercieca said that Fenech’s defence is that he is not the mastermind behind Daphne’s murder and that he is not involved in the murder but there are others such as Keith Schembri who should face justice.

Fenech’s defence team said in court that Arnaud’s friendship with Schembri shows how the Inspector lacks qualities that make him capable to lead the investigations against Yorgen Fenech.

In December last year, the accused had testified before Judge Lawrence Mintoff that Inspector Keith Arnaud used to inform Keith Schembri on the course of the investigations.

The defence continued to argue that the same measures were not enforced with Keith Schembri in the same way the Police did with Yorgen Fenech in a situation where both individuals could face the same charges. “Why did the Police arrest Fenech with the assistance of the Armed Forces of Malta and Europol but in the case of Schembri the Police could not even retrieve his mobile phone. It is either incompetence or complicity”, stated Mercieca.

He then mentioned that when Schembri was arrested, Arnaud had to ask neighbours were Schembri lived in Mellieha.

Regarding the letter Schembri sent to Fenech through their doctor Adrian Vella, Lawyer Charles Camilleri said that the Police, Arnaud, failed to immediately seize the letter and analyse the handwriting in the letter. He then continued to emphasise on Arnaud’s relationship, described as intimate wok relationship, with Keith Schembri.

State Advocate Dr Chris Soler argued that it is not possible for the inspector to have ‘an intimate’ relationship with Keith Schembri, if he did not even know where he lives.

Referring to the defence, Mr Justice Mintoff noted how if it would have been any other person instead of Keith Arnaud, the defence would still highlight the mentioned ‘shortcomings’ due to the nature of his job.

The next court sitting will be held on the 14th of January 2021.