special report 1 | 2
Why? By Whom?
If it had not been a stark and chilling reality, Lino (Paul) Cauchis
mysterious murder 20 years ago would have all the components of
a Hollywood horror film. But this was not fictitious movie material
Lino Cauchis gruesome death happened and the murderer
or murderers still remain uncaught today.
The motive for Mr Cauchis murder is unclear although recent
developments strengthen the theory that his tragic end was related
to his work as an auditor and accountant.
Witnesses have confirmed that Lino Cauchi was present during
heated meetings between developers and people close to former
public works minister Lorry Sant in December 1981.
It is believed that when Cauchi went missing he was in possession
of a number of important documents which could have put a number
of high profile individuals in a bad light.
From the outset Mr Cauchis family believed that he was
kidnapped. Lino Cauchi was bludgeoned to death with a mallet.
The fact that his briefcase was found abandoned near Chadwick
Lakes further strengthened their theory. However, it was years
before their plight found any solace in the justice process.
Today, at last, things seem to be moving. The police have intensified
their investigations and new evidence has surfaced,
which could lead both to the motive and the people behind Mr Cauchis
Lino Cauchis murder remains forever a black stain on our national
conscience along with those of Karin Grech, Raymond Caruana and
Wilfred Cardona. And time is unlikely to help heal the wounds for
a family that has lived 20 years not knowing why one of its beloved
members was killed.
Twenty years of pain and silence
February 1982 Lino Cauchi disappears mysteriously.
He does not return home after work.
February 1982 - On the night following Lino Cauchis
disappearance a senior Inland Revenue official known as il-Mulej
visited Anna Cauchi, and suggested that she pass on the files related
to contracts. Mrs Cauchi acceded to his request. Diagram
February 1982 Lino Cauchis brief case is
found abandoned in the vicinity of Chadwick Lakes. The brief case
is empty and has been forced open indicating that the person or
persons who opened it, did so without Lino Cauchis consent.
1983 Lino Cauchis wife, Anna, is asked to
go to the Police Depot. On arrival she is thrown into a prison cell
and the investigating officers tell her: "Now talk! You know
about Lino." She is eventually released after a few hours and
never charged or accused of a crime.
November 1985 Human body parts brutally sawn off
and wrapped in black plastic bags are discovered in a well in Buskett
in an area known as Il-Bosk. The body cannot be identified
and initial news reports speculate that the body belongs to a woman.
A mallet, believed to be the murder weapon, is also found in the
May 1988 In-Nazzjon reports for the first time
that the remains found in Buskett were identified by Australian
forensic experts as Lino Cauchis even though the magistrates
report is not yet concluded.
March 1989 Magistrate David Sciclunas report
on the identification of the body parts found in Buskett is presented.
The report states that the remains were those of Lino Cauchi and
the death was a violent one. It adds that Mr Cauchi was killed by
blows to the head with a heavy mallet that was found inside the
April 1989 Interior and Justice Minister Guido
de Marco confirms in Parliament that the remains found in Buskett
were those of Lino Cauchi.
April 1989 Lino Cauchis funeral takes place
at the Immaculate Conception Church in Hamrun. Prime Minister Eddie
Fenech Adami and Deputy Prime Minister Guido de Marco were present
for the mass.
April 1989 Weekly newspaper Il-Gens reports that
in the near future a magisterial inquiry will be launched into the
murder of Lino Cauchi.
June 1989 Il-Gens interviews Lino Cauchis
father who deplores the fact that the inquiry into his sons
murder has not yet started despite promises by the authorities.
The inquiry is eventually launched, headed by Magistrate David Scicluna.
August 1991 Arnold Cassola writing in Alternattiva
asks police investigators to use some imagination in
their investigations. He highlights the fact that Lino Cauchi disappeared
a few months after the mysterious death of another accountant,
Lino Manfre. Mr Cauchi had worked with Mr Manfres accountancy
firm prior to setting up shop on his own.
July 1992 Alternattiva reports that Lino Cauchis
case was mentioned in a law suit before the courts instituted by
a certain Joseph Borg against Joe Pace of the Magic Kiosk.
The newspaper reproduces the evidence given by Mr Borg, which states
that during a meeting on 8 December 1981 between himself and Pio
Camilleri a promise of sale agreement was signed. The private agreement,
which was drawn up by accountant Lino Cauchi, concerned the transfer
of 30 plots of land from Mr Camilleris company Luqa Developments
Co. Ltd back to Mr Borg and Victor Balzan. In his evidence Mr Borg
states that the promise of sale agreement went missing after Mr
Cauchi disappeared in February 1982 and the transfer of land could
not be concluded.
April 1994 Giving evidence in a libel case instituted
against Il-Gens editor Carmel Attard, Pio Camilleri denies that
Lino Cauchi was his accountant. Mr Camilleri denies having had any
connection with the deceased.
May 1995 Magistrate David Scicluna concludes the
inquiry into the murder of Lino Cauchi, which had commenced only
after the body was officially identified.
2001 Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami publicly
encourages the Police Force to continue investigating the unsolved
murders of Raymond Caruana, Karin Grech, Wilfred Cardona and Lino
Cauchi. The appeal is also communicated to former Police Commissioner
September 2001 In-Nazzjon reports that on the
previous day a number of persons involved in land speculation during
the early eighties gave evidence before Magistrate Silvio Meli.
The new evidence was supposed to shed light on the possible
motives for Lino Cauchis murder.
September 2001 Il-Mument reports that from evidence
submitted in front of Magistrate Silvio Meli the name of a particular
person, who could have been behind Lino Cauchis murder, was
October 2001 Il-Mument reports that the new
witnesses in the Lino Cauchi murder have concluded their evidence
and the findings have been passed on to the Attorney General to
be included in the original inquiry.
February 2002 MaltaToday reveals that following
the new evidence submitted in the Lino Cauchi inquiry before Magistrate
Silvio Meli, the police have interrogated Pio Camilleri and are
stepping up their investigations.
Lino Cauchis last hours
- 15 February 1982
Lino Cauchi goes home for lunch. This is the last time that his
wife Anna sees him alive. Before leaving home an hour later, he
tells his wife: "Ill see you tonight."
He is carrying a brief case.
Two men go to Lino Cauchis home asking for him. Anna Cauchi
tells them that her husband is not there but they point out that
his car is parked a few metres away. The men tell Mrs Cauchi that
her husband had to give them some money.
6.30pm: Lino Cauchi is at his office in Old Bakery
Street in Valletta in the presence of a client. The client later
tells the police that at around 4.30-5.00pm, Lino Cauchi received
a telephone call. He is heard telling the person on the other end
of the line: "I can come because I am not parked far away."
Lino Cauchi and the client leave the office. Mr Cauchi meets Frank
Fenech and Martin Attard, two acquaintances, after which he is thought
to have proceeded to his parked car. This is the last recorded time
that Lino Cauchi was seen.
The unanswered questions
Lino Cauchis car was mysteriously found parked near his home
with no sign of a break-in. How did the car end up there if Lino
had driven to work?
Did the police find any fingerprints or any telling clues in the
Soon after Lino Cauchi parted with the accounting firm Diamantino
& Manfre a partner of the company, Lino Manfre, died mysteriously
Were the doctors and nurses on duty in Manfres ward ever interrogated?
What is the link between Manfres death and Lino Cauchis
What interest did a high official in the Inland Revenue Department
have in collecting a box of important files from Lino Cauchis
home soon after he disappeared? Diagram
What information did the files contain?
How long had Lino Cauchis butchered body been in the well?
Was he murdered soon after his disappearance or was it months later?
Were any fingerprints found on the murder weapon?
Weekend Chronicle Saturday 16 November 1985
"The body of an unidentified human being, chopped up and packed
in plastic bags was yesterday discovered by the police in a well
in the vicinity of Buskett Gardens. The macabre discovery yesterday
afternoon set in motion an extensive police investigation in one
of the most bizarre killings ever reported on this island. Diagram
The body chopped up in several small pieces, was found hidden under
a pile of stones at the bottom of the well. One of the bags contained
a large iron hammer, which could have been the murder weapon.
Injuries probably caused by this weapon were found on the right
side of the severed head which was found in another plastic bag."