A video of former deputy police commissioner Silvio Valletta has been discovered on Yorgen Fenech’s phone and flagged to the Maltese police for investigation.
The video, ostensibly shot by Mr Fenech, showed Mr Valletta “fooling around”, pretending to be the owner of the businessman’s luxury Rolls Royce.
It is not known when the video was shot or the reason why the man charged with journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder had recorded it.
However, when contacted on Sunday, Mr Valletta said the video in question had been taken some time after he had left the police force.
The video was downloaded from Mr Fenech’s phone by experts from Europol who are assisting local investigators in the October 2017 murder probe. Sources said the video showed the “intimate relationship” between Mr Valletta, who had overseen part of the investigations into the car bomb killing of Ms Caruana Galizia, and Mr Fenech who was charged last November with complicity in the murder.
Mr Valletta – who is married to Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana – gave a statement to investigators at police headquarters in Floriana on Sunday, shortly after The Sunday Times of Malta reported that the former police officer had gone on holiday with Mr Fenech during the course of the investigation.
On September 29, 2018, Mr Valletta caught a business class flight to London with Mr Fenech to watch a football match at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium.
Sources close to the investigation said Mr Fenech had already been identified as a person of interest in the murder probe some four months earlier.
In a statement on Sunday, Mr Valletta insisted he had not known of Mr Fenech’s involvement in the case at the time of the trip to London. Mr Valletta had stepped down from the murder case some three months before the trip.
Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri told Times of Malta he was concerned about the matter.
“That which has been alleged by The Sunday Times of Malta this morning is not on. I am not pleased to see reports like this,” he said, adding that shortly after reading the report, he had reached out to acting police chief Carmelo Magri.
“I spoke to the acting police commissioner to get some information – politicians should not get involved in investigations. However, I showed him that I was not pleased with what I’ve just read,” he added.
Asked if there should be an ethics investigation into the matter, Dr Camilleri said that was for the police top brass to decide.
Meanwhile, a witness who saw Mr Valletta and Mr Fenech on board the Air Malta flight to London’s Heathrow Airport, said the businessman was heard telling his children to “hold Uncle Silvio’s hand”.
The two watched Liverpool hold Chelsea to a one-all stalemate from a private box at the stadium.
Mr Fenech was arrested and charged with his involvement in the murder two months after Mr Valletta had retired from the police force – in August 2019.
His withdrawal came 10 months after activists campaigned for Mr Valletta to be barred from holding a role at the FIAU due to a conflict of interest because of his marriage to Dr Caruana.
Government insiders said the idea that Dr Caruana resigns her Cabinet post, even temporarily, had been floated to her by the Office of the Prime Minister. The matter is being discussed internally.
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