Investigations into suspected leaks from the Caruana Galizia murder investigation have been put on hold while Keith Schembri undergoes medical treatment for a serious condition.
Police sources told Times of Malta that Schembri had been due to be taken in for a lengthy interrogation on Thursday.
However, the questioning was put off when Schembri was taken into Mater Dei Hospital on Monday with a serious medical problem.
It is understood that he has since been released from hospital and is back at his Mellieħa home. In the coming days, he will begin invasive treatment for a life-threatening health complication.
Police sources said there was no point proceeding with an interrogation of a suspect who may not be sound of mind at present. This, officers said, would likely impact other ongoing investigations into unrelated matters.
Schembri, once the most powerful unelected government official of the Joseph Muscat administration, is currently facing criminal charges of money laundering and corruption.
He is not expected to appear in court when his case resumes on Monday morning, with sources close to his legal team saying he was not in a fit condition to do so.
Meanwhile, Schembri is being actively investigated over suspicions of having leaked sensitive information from the investigation into the 2017 murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Police believe that, among other things, details of the delicate investigations into self-confessed murder middleman Melvin Theuma were leaked by associates of both alleged murder conspirator Yorgen Fenech and Schembri.
Last week, Times of Malta reported that Kenneth Camilleri, a member of former prime minister Joseph Muscat’s security detail, admitted during police questioning that Schembri sent him to speak to Theuma sometime in 2018.
Camilleri was a security official between March 2013 and January 2019, before taking up a job at Transport Malta.
Camilleri told police during an interrogation earlier this month that prior to meeting with Theuma, he had no idea that the task of “calming” him was linked to Caruana Galizia’s murder.
Instead, he claimed Schembri’s instructions could have been related to “something politically related”. The statement is understood to have been met with scepticism by the officers leading the probe.
Camilleri also told murder investigators that he was later instructed by Schembri not to approach the middleman anymore.
Investigators have yet to take any action against Schembri over his suspected role in leaking information that hampered and endangered the murder investigations into Theuma and suspected mastermind, Yorgen Fenech.
Pressure has been mounting on the police to take action on the suspected leaks of sensitive information. In fact, there are currently two parallel investigations by the police exploring similar leads on potential attempts to derail the Caruana Galizia murder probe.
Schembri has already denied any role in the murder or ensuing cover-up during previous interrogation with the police.
Fenech, who also denies the murder charges, had initially tried to pin the murder on former minister Chris Cardona.
Fenech then changed his version of events after he was denied a pardon for the murder in exchange for testimony against Cardona.
After the rejection, Fenech claimed Schembri was the real murder mastermind. Cardona too denies any role in the murder.
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