Assistant Police Commissioner Kevin Farrugia, named today in the compilation of evidence in the murder investigation involving suspected mastermind Yorgen Fenech, was the same police officer who Toni Abela, then Deputy Leader of the Labour Party now promoted to Judge, had referred to when mentioning “a police officer who supported the Party who sorted things out,” sources have confirmed.
In testimony in court this morning, Police Inspector Keith Arnaud listed Farrugia as one of the people who would be present during briefs on the investigation held with Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri.
The controversy, which became to be known as the ‘Blokka Bajda’ (white block) scandal, involved a ‘white block’ suspected to be cocaine at a Labour Party club. Controversy arose when Abela did not take the situation to the police in a suspected cover up.
Recordings leaked by the Nationalist Party then surfaced in which Abela was heard talking about an incident where the president of the Club was sacked after allegedly disposing of a block of white powder. In the recording, he implied that he failed to go to the police station as to not get the club’s president in trouble.
Abela was shown insisting that a Labour-leaning officer was encountered by chance. “I was not telling the police officer what to do but merely explaining the case to him,” Abela had said.
Abela was promoted to Judge on his return to Malta after he failed a grilling for a role at the European Court of Auditors.
Fenech’s defence lawyer Gianluca Caruana Curran, reacting to the list of names, noted that Arnaud “forgot to mention Farrugia’s name in (his) first testimony,” according to press reports.
Other people present in the briefings with government officials included Deputy Commissioner Silvio Valletta and Assistant Commissioner Michael Mallia, according to Arnaud.
Farrugia was also present in a police press conference – the only one held before Joseph Muscat took over that role from the Police Commissioner – on the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s assassination in October 2017.
In May 2018, Maltese blogger Manuel Delia also commented on the role of Farrugia in the ‘Blokka Bajda’ scandal, saying Abela had “sought a “pulizija Laburist (a police officer who supports the Labour Party)” to cover up the matter. Farrugia was promoted to a high rank on the same day as Ian Abdilla who heads the Economic Crimes Unit and had been criticised for lack of progress in the 17 Black investigation.