The Malta Independent 26 September 2021, Sunday

Updated: Metsola says Joseph Muscat tells EP delegation that he feels betrayed by Keith Schembri

Tuesday, 3 December 2019, 09:05 Last update: about 3 years ago

Outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told a European Parliament delegation this morning that he feels betrayed by Keith Schembri, his former chief of staff who resigned in the wake of allegations made against him during the investigations into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

"When I asked him point blank if he felt betrayed by Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister said yes," Metsola told The Malta Independent.

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Metsola said that the Prime Minister tried to give the impression that the situation in the country is normal, that everything is functioning and that he will stay where he is. His answer is surreal considering the protests that are taking place in the streets, she said.

Metsola is part of an EP delegation in Malta to meet the country's institutions following the latest development in the murder investigations.

Metsola said that the Prime Minister went on to admit a series of misjudgments and he needs to shoulder political responsibility for them.

It was also surreal, she said, how he tried to justify staying on for more than a month as Prime Minister when it was possible that he hands over the reins of the country to his deputy and leave now.

Renew Europe’s Sophia in 't Veld, head of the delegation, said that they shared their concerns with Muscat. "I don't think our concerns have been allayed after this meeting," she said. "You can talk for a long time about the details of the case but this is a question of credibility of the highest political office here... and it is difficult to see how this can be maintained.

"It is difficult so see how the credibility of the office can be upheld. Because in politics it's about trust. It's about the integrity of the office.  This is not about formalities."

She said thisis about the trust of the European Union in the Maltese government and the head of Maltese government. And we made it very clear that there is a problem. "This is also between Malta and the European Union. Cooperation in the European Union is based on trust," she said, and that trust "has been seriously damaged".

"We'll see what we hear in the next day and a half but I am not coming out of this meeting with more confidence."

Justice coming out on the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder is the most important thing. That is the precondition for moving forward.

MEPs are in Malta to meet with the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and the Chief of Police.

The first meeting was with Joseph Muscat, and started this morning at 8.30am.

The European Parliament sent an urgent mission to Malta to find first-hand what is taking place in connection the investigations into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech was charged in connection to the murder, however is pointing the finger at former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, who has been released from arrest.

The delegation is made up of seven MEPs, led by Renew Europe’s Sophia in 't Veld. Roberta Metsola, who is the EPP’s spokesperson for the rule of law, will represent her party. Birgit Sippel will represent the S&D, Nicolaus Fest will represent the Identity and Democracy Group, Assita Kanko will represent the ECR, Sven Giegold will represent the Green Party, and Stelios Kouloglou will represent GUE.

The MEPs will also meet with President George Vella, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, the family of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Opposition Leader Adrian Delia, Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia, NGOs and Journalists and representatives from the Malta Chamber of advocates.

This is a developing story - please refresh for latest update

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