An investigation has been opened in France regarding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta in 2017 after her family and Reporters Without Borders filed a complaint against the former Chief of Staff of the Maltese government.
The complaint was filed by the journalist’s family and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres; RSF) for “complicity in assassination” and “corruption” against in particular Yorgen Fenech, a businessman who owns racing horse stables and hotels in France, the former Chief of Staff of the Maltese Prime Minister’s government Keith Schembri, and the former Minister of Tourism Konrad Mizzi.
It was filed on 3rd December last year and now it has been confirmed that an investigation has been opened by France’s national financial prosecutor (‘parquet national financier’) so as to determine whether economic activities that took place on French soil could have been used to corrupt foreign civil servants, it was announced Wednesday in a statement.
The investigators suspect that revenue generated by some of the assets located in France might have been used to corrupt two politicians with the aim of being awarded a public tender, which is what Daphne Caruana Galizia was investigating when she was assassinated.
The plaintiffs argue that French investments by the businessman may have been used to pay “the perpetrators of the car bombing that claimed the journalist’s life on 16th October 2017”.
The Maltese government became embroiled in scandal as a result of the assassination and the Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, eventually stepped down after being accused of having interfered in the investigation and protected his collaborators from being exposed.
Following investigations carried out in collaboration with Interpol and the American FBI, three men considered to be mere executioners are on trial. Yorgen Fenech has been charged with complicity.
While digging into the Maltese side of the Panama Papers, Daphne Caruana Galizia revealed that a Dubai company, the 17 Black, had paid Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi 2 million EUR (1.66 million GBP).
The journalistic consortium called the Daphne Project, which has resumed her investigations, then revealed that the 17 Black company belonged to Yorgen Fenech.