Malta businessman arrested over journalist murder

Media gather at the Portomaso port where a yacht, which is believed to have been intercepted by Maltese police to arrest prominent businessman Yorgen Fenech. (Photo by REUTERS)

Malta police on Wednesday arrested a businessman in connection with the 2017 murder of investigative journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, a police source told AFP.

Maltese national Yorgen Fenech was detained on his yacht at dawn as he tried to leave Malta the day after an alleged middleman was offered a pardon if he identified the assassination's mastermind, the source said.

"We have arrested a man as part of our investigations into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia," a high-ranking police source told AFP.

"He was on his boat at the time of arrest," the source said, defining Fenech as "a person of interest" in the case.

Fenech is the director and co-owner of Electrogas, which won a multi-million euro contract from the Maltese state in 2013 to build a new gas power station on the tiny Mediterranean island.

Malta's Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit also identified him as the owner of a company based in Dubai called 17 Black.

Journalist Caruana Galizia, killed by a car bomb, had written in her blog about 17 Black some eight months before her death, alleging it was connected to Maltese politicians.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said Tuesday he had promised the alleged middleman a pardon if he named the person who ordered her death.

 

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