Malta-24 – News Briefing – Tuesday 23rd June 2020

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Updated 1235 – No new coronavirus cases

There were no new cases of coronavirus in Malta over the past 24 hours, the Health Department said. 927 swab tests were carried out during this period. As one person has recovered, this means there are now 38 active cases.

This was the first time since 7th March 2020 during which Malta registered two consecutive days with zero cases.

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Updated 0812 – Newspaper Review

The Times leads with the testimony of Keith Schembri in court who said that he was told by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to persuade Yorgen Fenech not to leave Malta, days before his eventual arrest in November.

The Independent follows the compilation in court against Yorgen Fenech on Monday when Keith Schembri took the witness stand. The former chief of staff was warned that criminal proceedings against him could not be excluded but chose to testify regardless.

L-Orizzont quotes Keith Schembri who claimed in court that PN Leader Adrian Delia asked businessman Yorgen Fenech for €50,000 to undermine the re-election campaign of MEP David Casa in 2019.

In-Nazzjon follows the testimony in court of inspector Kurt Zahra who said that claims by Melvin Theuma were corroborated while those made by Yorgen Fenech were not. The former’s request for pardon was recommended while the latter’s was refused.

The Independent reports that the parliamentary public appointments committee endorsed Angelo Gafà as the new Police Commissioner. His nomination was unanimously approved by the four members representing the government while the opposition boycotted the session.

The Times quotes nominated Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà who told parliament that the police found little cooperation from jurisdictions outside the EU, slowing down anti-money laundering probes.

In-Nazzjon quotes Opposition Leader Adrian Delia who accused the Prime Minister of siding with those who ‘robbed the country’ against the interests of the people. Delia was referring to the €10 million investment in a wind farm in Montenegro by Enemalta.

The first day of the week was dominated by the widely-anticipated testimony of former PM’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri. After months of silence, he revealed that Joseph Muscat told him to tell Fenech not to leave Malta, but insisted that the latter never informed him of the murder.

He also claimed that PN leader Adrian Delia had asked Yorgen Fenech for €50,000 so that David Casa would not be re-elected as an MEP. Delia denied this claim through a sworn statement. Schembri also testified that Pierre Portelli, PN’s ex-Head of Media, used to collect money from Fenech.

Keith Schembri also admitted that he was aware that Yorgen Fenech was the owner of the (in)famous 17Black company, having for months denied any knowledge about its true ownership.

Meanwhile, demonstrators gathered outside of parliament in Valletta yesterday evening in protest over the recent revelations from the ongoing Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation.

Covid-19 Update

There were no new cases of coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, the Health Department said. One person has been declared as recovered, meaning that active cases now stand at 39.

464 swabs were taken on Sunday.

The Department said that of 617 recoveries, 363 were males while 254 were female.

 

CDE News

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