Editorial: Only the start of closure

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PM’s resignation should not be considered as bringing closure to Daphne murder

The expected resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, as one of the most serious legal and political crises in the country’s history rages on, should not, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered as bringing closure to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder two years ago.

Dr Muscat has often declared he would not leave office before he ensured the case was concluded. And with the arrest of Yorgen Fenech, suspected to be the mastermind in the assassination, some might be tempted to argue that matters have come to a logical conclusion.

At this juncture in the murder case and the political fallout that has ensued, Muscat’s expected resignation only signals the start, not the end, of closure.

There are still too many questions Dr Muscat must answer before he exits the political and public scene. No redemption will come from handing over the keys to Castille to somebody else. He still must give a full account of his action and inaction to Parliament but, more so, he owes it to the people who handed him two huge electoral victories, especially those genuine Labour stalwarts who have been disturbed by recent events.

Dr Muscat must, for example, set the record straight as to why he persisted in protecting his former chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and former Cabinet minister Konrad Mizzi when they were exposed by the Panana Papers.

He should also say why he preferred to look the other way when the independent media and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit were reporting that certain individuals, including Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi, could be up to no good.

Dr Muscat needs to give an account of what he did when certain details of the murder plot reached the police and, no doubt, were also made known to him as early as May last year. Why did the situation only reach a head a few weeks ago, when Mr Fenech was arrested on his yacht off Malta? Why did Dr Muscat then decide to effectively take over the investigation himself?

What if, rather than one mastermind, the hitmen were commissioned by a consortium of evil?

“What if, rather than one mastermind, the hitmen were commissioned by a consortium of evil?”

Bizarrely, the police decided to release Mr Schembri after “intensive investigations” following allegations in his regard in connection with the murder. They did not spell out who made the allegations and what they consisted of.

One can only assume it was Mr Fenech who, according to reports, not only referred to the assassination but also to corruption.

In their statement they also said: “At this stage, the police do not see the need to continue holding Mr Schembri under arrest.”

Which implies he might again be a ‘person of interest’ in the future.

Did the person who ordered Mr Schembri’s release consider the fact that certain messages regarding the investigation were reportedly being sent by Mr Schembri to Mr Fenech via a medical practitioner? This indicates how close the two were.

These questions, and many others, still need to be answered. If he wants closure, then Dr Muscat needs to provide them.

Surely he, Dr Schembri and his ilk must realise they can run, but hiding will be far more difficult.

timesofmalta.com

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