The Malta Independent 10 July 2020, Friday

Yorgen Fenech tells court Keith Schembri kept him informed of progress in Daphne investigation

Thursday, 5 December 2019, 11:09 Last update: about 7 months ago

Murder suspect Yorgen Fenech has claimed in court that the Prime Minister's former chief of staff Keith Schembri had kept him continuously informed of progress in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation.

Fenech said this during a constitutional court case he has filed to have Inspector Keith Arnaud removed from the murder investigation. The case is being heard by Judge Lawrence Mintoff.

Fenech told the court that Schembri was being briefed on progress in the investigation by Arnaud, who was a good friend of Schembri.

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In shocking testimony, Fenech said that Schembri had informed him that his phone was being tapped, that the police were going to carry out a big raid in Marsa in December 2017 when the three men accused of murdering Caruana Galizia were arrested, and had also given him a script on what to say while he was out on police bail.

Fenech says that Schembri had tried to, through a doctor when he was out on police bail pass him a script of what to tell the police during interrogation. The suspect claims that while investigations were carried out as they should in his regard, the police were quick to exonerate Keith Schembri.

Fenech has been charged with being the mastermind behind the Caruana Galizia murder. The compilation of evidence against has not yet started.

10:37 The case now continues on 10 December.  

10:37 The Attorney General reserves his cross-examination. 

10:34 Yorgen says he was given police bail three or four times. “I always went back voluntarily. What is worrying me is that Arnaud is not in a position to serenely investigate the murder and has a clear conflict of interest because he has a close relationship with Keith Schembri. Arnaud is not in a position to do this.” 

10:33 “In my case things were done well but in Schembri's case, things were not done well. My complaint is that all the evidence we have seen, indicates very clearly the involvement of Keith Schembri, but in his case there was a rush to release a statement exonerating him by the police.” 

10:32 Yorgen says the police seized all his family's laptops and electronics, including his wife and minor children's devices. 

10:32 Yorgen Fenech argues that there was a great hurry in his arraignment after he mentioned Keith Schembri. “There was a frenzy, a rush, things suddenly changed. This is all new to me,” he says, apologising to the court. 

10:30 “I was to be very careful and not mention Schembri. But the recordings and the evidence all showed close ties between Schembri and the murder,” he says. 

10:30 Yorgen says that Keith Schembri had passed on a script on what to tell the police. "I had followed the script given to me by Keith Schembri. I was given one when I was arrested and another on Sunday whilst on police bail when he came to my house." 

10:28 Fenech reiterates that Arnaud was continually updating Schembri on the progress of the investigation. “There was a close relationship between Schembri and Arnaud.” 

10:28 Yorgen says that he was told to be “responsible in what he was saying and be careful in who he involved”. He asked whether he was referring to Keith Schembri. The reply was positive, he says. 

10:27 Yorgen tells the court that Arnaud had spoken to him in custody and told him that there was a tunnel ahead but there was light at the end of it. 

10:26 Yorgen says that Schembri told him that he had arranged a job for Arnaud's wife with Infrastructure Malta. 

10:25 "On one occasion, a year ago, Arnaud and Schembri had such a good relationship that Arnaud had approached Schembri for help in finding a job for his wife." 

10:24 Yorgen says he was informed of the suspects and the date of the raid in which they were arrested in December 2017. 

10:23 Camilleri asks him about the information he had been given. "All through the investigation. From a week after the murder," Yorgen answers. 

10:22 Yorgen Fenech says he was informed of the pardon before his own arrest. It was sent to him in a message on his mobile phone with the number 79444444. 

10:19 Yorgen Fenech says that Keith Schembri passed on information that Vincent Muscat was in talks about a pardon. “He had informed me that my phone was being tapped. Keith Schembri told me this, being given the information from Arnaud.” 

10:18 Yorgen says that he would get information from Keith Schembri. “It would come from Mr Arnaud but Schembri would tell me. He had a good close relationship with Arnaud. He would update him continuously on the progress of the investigation.” 

10:17 "Keith, sorry Schembri, would inform me continuously, in real time, before the arrests of the Degiorgios and Muscat," Yorgen Fenech says. 

10:16 Yorgen Fenech says that when he had a problem he’d turn to him and vice versa, even in health matters. 

10:15 Yorgen Fenech says they knew each other as children. It was a fraternal relationship. “We'd meet twice a week go to each other’s houses and go abroad together. 

10:15 Marion Camilleri asks Yorgen about his relationship with Keith Schembri. 

10:14 Lawyers Victoria Buttigieg and Maurizio Cordina appeared for the office of the Attorney General.

10:14 Fenech is represented by lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran and Marion Camilleri. 

10:12 Yorgen Fenech has taken the witness stand in front of Judge Lawrence Mintoff.

 

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