MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 01st December, 2019) Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech was charged with complicity in the 2017 murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Glazie, media reported Saturday.
The ruling is the first judicial step in the high-profile murder case which has rocked the Mediterranean island nation.
Fenech was charged with complicity in murder, complicity in causing an explosion and participating in a criminal organization, local newspaper Malta Today reported. Fenech pleaded not guilty to all of them.
The wealthy businessman was arrested on November 20 on his yacht when allegedly making an escape from the country by sea. He was later released on bail but ordered to appear in court, according to the newspaper.
Maltese politics has been in turmoil in recent weeks with a probe into the murder leading to the resignation of two ministers and the arrest of the prime minister's chief of staff for various degrees of involvement with Fenech.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's position at the helm of the government appeared to be at risk as many of his associates have been implicated in the Galizia murder case. Muscat said in a press conference on Friday that he will not step down before the end of the investigation.
Caruana Galizia documented payments by Fenech's company 17 Black to Maltese politicians eight months before her death. She was killed by a car bomb outside her Bidnija home in October 2017. The journalist was known for her investigations into various cases of corruption in Malta based on the so-called Panama papers, which revealed illegal finance practices of officials and public figures from various countries.