Malta govt chief of staff Schembri has resigned - PM Muscat

Malta govt chief of staff Schembri has resigned - PM Muscat

She had alleged that Schembri - who served as Muscat's chief of staff since 2013 - and Mizzi had been involved in corruption, claims both men have denied.

Police also questioned Schembri and searched his home after having found that Malta's richest businessman, Yorgen Fenech, whom they had arrested last week in connection with the case, had been in regular phone contact with the prime minister's right-hand man.

Schembri's lawyers were not available for comment on Thursday when contacted by Reuters for comment.

Fenech, who was arrested on his yacht last week as he tried to leave the country, has requested immunity to reveal what he knows.

Cardona was briefly interrogated by police on Saturday. The media of the Mediterranean island reported that it had delivered audio recordings.

Muscat refused to say what prompted Schembri's decision, telling reporters it was premature to speculate on "whether he is being questioned or what he is being questioned about".

The Maltese government's former chief of staff has been arrested amid the probe into the murder of an anti-corruption journalist. Mr. Schembri denied wrongdoing.

Police had planned to accuse Fenech on Tuesday of murder charges before a magistrate.

According to a person briefed on the investigation, Mr Theuma started to provide further information that would "bring the house down", with substantial details of corruption and the complicity of other senior figures in the murder that shocked Europe. "We call for all hitmen, all middlemen, and all masterminds to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law", said UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.

Jeering demonstrators shouted "Mafia!" at the prime minister as he was whisked away by a large group of bodyguards. The businessman was released on bail on Tuesday and it appears he is also seeking a pardon in exchange for testimony.

Three men are awaiting trial for setting off the bomb that killed Caruana Galizia, and police sources say the investigation into who actually ordered the killing has made big advances in the past week.

Neither Fenech nor his lawyers have made any public comment since his arrest.

Before her death, Caruana Galizia had revealed the existence of a secret holding company called 17 Black.

It is not known if any fund really changed hands.

Later on Tuesday, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said that after a lot of reflection, he thought it was his "duty" to resign from his government post. Her son Matthew tweeted on Tuesday that Muscat "simply can not be trusted to not obstruct justice". "He has done it for too long", Caruana Galizia's son Matthew wrote on Twitter.

"Joseph Muscat's moral authority has been compromised to the point of no return after failing to sack Keith Schembri despite mounting evidence of irregular behaviour before he resigned under duress".

"My role at this time is to ensure that the country has a stable leadership".

Caruana Galizia often attacked members of the Muscat government in his blogs, including Schembri and Mizzi.

He was suing her at the time she was killed, in October 2017.

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