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Maltese Gambling Tycoon Charged with the Murder of Journalist

by Glenn Baird - December 1, 2019

Casino owner, Yorgen Fenech, was charged yesterday with the murder of Malta’s most famous investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia.

On Saturday the 30th of November, 38-year-old Yorgen Fenech was charged with “participating in a criminal organisation, complicity in causing an explosion, and complicity in the murder of Caruana Galizia.”

The journalist and anti-corruption campaigner, Caruana Galizia, was killed in 2017 when a bomb exploded in the rental car she had hired not long after she had left her home in Malta.

Fenech has pleaded not guilty and will remain in custody, without bail and without access to any of his considerable assets.

Galizia was responsible for uncovering corruption within the Maltese government, all of which has subsequently led to calls for Joseph Muscat, prime minster of Malta to resign after his chief aide was questioned by the police. Muscat has stated that he will stand down, but only once the full investigation has been completed. Despite the questioning, no charges have been made against any of Muscat’s ministers.

Fenech was accosted by Maltese authorities on the 20th of November whilst aboard his luxury yacht.

The case intensified this week after it emerged that a suspect was granted a presidential pardon in exchange for information.

The official accusation states that Fenech “promoted, constituted, organised or financed a group with the intention of committing a crime”, and that he “actively participated in the criminal actions of this group, including but not limited to giving information or material means or recruiting new members when he knew that the purpose and general activity of the group had already been established”.

After the case was announced, Galizia’s family, who were present at the arraignment, called out Muscat, demanding he stands down: “We now expect the prime minister to leave office, and parliament, with immediate effect to allow a free and full investigation into his and Keith Schembri’s role in Daphne’s assassination.”