Police have called on US authorities to provide information on cryptocurreny transfers between Konrad Mizzi’s former lawyer and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
US court filings show the request is linked to an ongoing court case against Fenech to buy a Glock Firearm and Scorpion CZ automatic rifle over the dark web.
Investigations by the police indicate that Mizzi’s former lawyer, Aron Mifsud Bonnici, transferred the bitcoins to Fenech on the same day he bought the firearms.
Sources said Mifsud Bonnici is not the subject of the investigation, and is a cooperating witness in the case against Fenech over the firearms purchase.
According to the request for information, on November 25, 2018, Fenech inquired into the purchase of the firearms.
On that same day, Mifsud Bonnici sent from his cryptocurrency accounts at Coinbase and Poloniex 0.9 bitcoins to Fenech, which Fenech then used for the firearms purchase.
The Maltese authorities are requesting business records from Coinbase and Poloniex for both Mifsud Bonnici and Fenech.
Mifsud Bonnici 'assisted police'
Contacted for comment, Mifsud Bonnici said he had assisted the police in August and September 2021 as part of the probe into Fenech.
“I was subsequently asked by the police to give evidence once Mr Fenech was charged with the attempted importation of a firearm from the dark web. I only became aware of Mr Fenech’s alleged activity on the dark web from media reports.
"Given the ongoing investigation, the case was heard behind closed doors, and I have thus refrained from making any public comment in regard thereto until today,” Mifsud Bonnici said.
The lawyer said he was only made aware of the request for information by the US authorities yesterday.
“The police have confirmed that there is no suggestion of wrongdoing in my regard”, Mifsud Bonnici said.
Fenech was charged over the attempts to import the firearms in September 2021.
A court heard how he also bought grenades, pistols and around 800 bullets.
The business mogul, who will separately face trial for complicity in the Daphne Caruana Galizia’s 2017 murder, made the weapons purchases on the dark web and paid for them using cryptocurrency Bitcoin, deputy attorney general Philip Galea Farrugia had said.
In another, separate purchase, Fenech received an email assuring him that a 20-gram shipment of potassium cyanide – a chemical that releases a highly toxic gas – had been shipped to him that morning, Galea Farrugia said.
The purchases were made in November 2018 – the same month that Times of Malta and Reuters revealed that Fenech was the owner of secret offshore company 17 Black.
Caruana Galizia was the first person to reveal the existence of 17 Black, which a leaked email has revealed was named as the source of funds for offshore companies belonging to Mizzi and former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Mifsud Bonnici was appointed to countless government boards during Mizzi’s tenures as health, energy and tourism minister.
He received hundreds of thousands in direct orders from entities that used to fall under Mizzi’s control.
The lawyer also represented Mizzi in the numerous libel cases, later dropped, opened by the former minister at the height of the Panama Papers scandal in 2016.
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