Malta: arrest in the Caruana Galizia murder case

The Maltese police arrested businessman Yorgen Fenech on Wednesday in connection with the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Galizia had revealed that Fenech is the owner of the offshore company 17 Black through which bribe money was channelled. The media are divided: was it right to name the suspect? And what are the implications of the case for Europe?

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La Repubblica (IT) /

A power plant of corruption

Since he was awarded the contract to build Malta's only gas-fired power plant in 2013 Fenech has had the government in his hands, La Repubblica concludes:

“The new gas-fired power plant is the driving force behind a system of corruption at the centre of which are Yorgen Fenech and the huge liquidity of his conglomerate. ... In this system [Fenech's off-shore] company '17 Black' becomes a financial vector for distributing bribes to the men closest to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. ... '17 Black' is the secret that holds together the corrupt pact that rules the island. In 2017 Daphne Caruana Galizia began to suspect how extensive its network was. A secret for which Daphne paid with her life and which, in the eyes of Maltese investigators, is now the firm motive for the murder.”

Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

This should give Brussels food for thought

The EU must draw the right conclusions from the arrest of entrepreneur Yorgen Fenech, who is suspected of being behind the murder, the Tages-Anzeiger urges:

“Suddenly the unthinkable has become thinkable. It appears that there is a direct connection between the fatal greed for money and the upper echelons of a European government, reaching deep into the centre of power. Fenech is said to have bribed the prime minister's chief of staff and the energy minister at the time. At least that is the suspicion. And although this is about the EU's smallest member state, just three little islands in the Mediterranean, it should also give Brussels food for thought. Urgently even.”

The Malta Independent (MT) /

Rash revelations jeopardise investigation

The Malta Independent calls on Malta's press to exercise more restraint in its coverage of the investigation:

“The reporting by sections of the Maltese media yesterday of the actual name of the alleged middleman in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation was completely irresponsible, if all out not dangerous. Not only does it risk foiling investigations, it also places at serious risk any deal that may be on the table in return for providing information on the murder that has seized not only Malta's, but the world's, attention. ... There are times when the press should hold back, and this was very clearly one of them in our opinion.”