The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said that he will be keeping a close eye on Malta, following a personal meeting with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at the fringes of the EU council. 

According to Politico, Mr Rutte stressed to Dr Muscat that pending his resignation as prime minister in January, “it is important that a separation of his office in Malta and the further prosecution [of the murder] is guaranteed, that this is crucial.”

He added that Dr Muscat had assured him that this would happen and that Mr Rutte would "now try to keep an eye on this as much as possible."

A court on Thursday heard allegations that the prime minister's former chief of staff Keith Schembri leaked information about the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia to chief suspect Yorgen Fenech.  

Prior to his arrival at the EU Council meeting, the Dutch PM told the media that he believed it was important for Dr Muscat to address the Netherlands on developments being made into the murder probe.

“I would find it classy if Muscat were to address the developments in Malta; in the Netherlands, both Parliament and the government are united in their concern about what's happened in Malta. Muscat has announced he will be leaving; we will see,” Mr Rutte said.

Investigations into the assassination have included the help of the Dutch police and the progress of its probe have been promoted by Council of Europe Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt.

Protests outside Malta's Embassy in BrusselsProtests outside Malta's Embassy in Brussels

European Parliament president David Sassoli yesterday handed European leaders  a letter by MEPs urging them to take a stance on Malta following “alarming” findings by an ad-hoc mission earlier this month.

The prime minister is attending the last EU Council Summit in Brussels, likely his last as Maltese leader.

Dr Muscat is expected to leave office after January 12, 2020.