Acting police commissioner Carmelo Magri does not know if ex-deputy police commissioner Silvio Valletta's phone was seized following claims he leaked details about the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation.

He told the public inquiry into the journalist's murder that he had personally spoken to Valletta about the leak allegations and he had denied them.

But while he said Valletta's call logs had been detained, he did not know if police had seized his mobile phone.

Earlier this month, a court heard claims Valletta had tipped off Yorgen Fenech, the man suspected of masterminding Caruana Galizia's murder, that police were going to arrest the alleged middleman in the plot.

Magri said Valletta had confirmed his friendship with murder suspect Yorgen Fenech started in 2016.  Valletta had also confirmed traveling abroad with Fenech twice, Magri said.  

Magri, who took over as acting commissioner in January 2020, said he had personally ordered that police stop briefing the Prime Minister's Officer about the probe. 

Europol flagged problems

He also told the inquiry board that Europol had flagged certain shortcomings in the coordination of the murder probe.  

Magri said Europol had flagged how the investigation seemed to be proceeding in silos, an observation Magri said he agreed with. He said a specific task force was set up this year to better coordinate the investigative work between different departments and authorities.  

The acting police commissioner admitted that this had helped streamline the investigation, which he said was far from over.  

Facing multiple questions about the Panama Papers investigations, Magri said he was not briefed on the state of the probe, a response that did not impress the inquiring board. 

Magri said he was confident charges would be filed at some stage. 

On 17 Black, the United Arab Emirates shell company owned by Fenech, Magri said requests for information sent by the police to Dubai did not yield any information.  

Magri said there had been some positive meetings between Europol and the authorities in Dubai which could help provide information in the future.  

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