Corruption in Malta. Arrested after the murder of a journalist.

Status: 20.11.2019 7:22 p.m..

In 2017 Daphne Caruana Galizia was the victim of an assassination attempt. It was quickly assumed that her research on corruption in Malta was a motive. A well-known businessman has now been arrested.

Prime Minister Muscat is under pressure.

A Maltese businessman has been arrested in connection with the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia two years ago. Units of the Maltese armed forces stopped Yorgen Fenech in the morning on his luxury yacht, which had already left the Portomaso marina, according to the newspaper “Times of Malta”. The arrest was confirmed to the German press agency by investigators.

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said a “person of interest” had been arrested. But he could not officially confirm the reason for the arrest. According to the Times of Malta, the arrested man is the director of a consortium that received an order from the government in 2013 to build a gas-fired power plant.

The 450-million-euro power plant, in which Maltese companies as well as the Azerbaijani state-owned company SOCAR and the German Siemens group are involved, was completed in 2017.

Fenech apparently wanted to leave Malta with his yacht when the police attacked.

Possible bribe scandal for “17 Black”

In 2018 it was revealed that Fenech also owned a secret offshore company called “17 Black” from the United Arab Emirates. This is shown by bank documents that the journalists’ collective “Forbidden Stories” reported on last year. This includes WDR, NDR, “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and “ZEIT” as well as “Reuters” and the “Guardian”.

The research showed that the then energy minister and now tourism minister Konrad Mizzi and Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri were apparently supposed to receive monthly payments of 150,000 euros via mailbox companies – from “17 Black”. Caruana Galizia had reported about this months before her death. Both cabinet members deny having ever collected any money from “17 Black”.

It is unclear whether any money has ever flowed.

Siemens replied to a request from the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” today that, following the allegations in the press, they had urged Fenech to be dismissed from the Kraftwerk board of directors “because of public doubts about his integrity”. Today, on the day of the arrest, Siemens was finally informed that F. had resigned from his position on the Board of Directors.

Muscat made an offer to key witnesses.

It was only on Tuesday that Prime Minister Muscat surprisingly offered a suspected middleman Fenech impunity if he provided reliable information about the mastermind behind the murder of Caruana Galizia. The man had been arrested last week and said he knew who had commissioned the murder of the journalist.

On October 16, 2017, an explosive device exploded under Caruana Galizia’s rental car. She had received death threats several times, which she reported to the police. Three men believed to have set off the car bomb have now been charged with murder.

So far, however, it is unclear who commissioned the murder.

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