Malta chief of staff Keith Schembri resigns amid probe of Daphne Caruana Galizia death

Nov. 26 (UPI) — The chief of staff to Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat resigned Tuesday amid an investigation into the 2017 slaying of a journalist who was probing alleged government corruption.

Keith Schembri, who was also Malta’s acting tourism minister, submitted his resignation following a meeting of government ministers, Muscat told reporters in Valletta.

“I had various discussions with Keith Schembri, and he said he would be resigning in the day,” Muscat said. “I thank him for the contribution he gave… he had a crucial role, and I thank him for shouldering this burden.”

Schembri himself had no comment.

Multiple media reports indicated he’d been taken to police headquarters for questioning regarding the car-bombing death of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who had published reports linking Schembri, another government official and a Maltese businessman to secretive Panamanian shell companies.

Her reporting was based on documents leaked from a company owned by Yorgen Fenech, who had won a government contract to run a major power station. Fenech was arrested last week after resigning from his family-owned business, Electrogas.

While Schembri has denied any involvement in Galizia’s slaying, opposition politicians demanded he be fired from his chief of staff role. Muscat initially resisted, but changed his mind this week.

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