Vince Muscat demands pardon in return for information on Caruana Galizia murder

Vince Muscat, nicknamed il-Koħħu, accuses government of dilly dallying on his request for a pardon to help investigators join the dots in the Caruana Galizia murder plot

Vince Muscat, il-Koħħu, (right) is one of three men accused of murdering journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia
Vince Muscat, il-Koħħu, (right) is one of three men accused of murdering journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

A man charged with murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia has accused government of sitting on his request for a presidential pardon in return for information on the assassination plot and several other unsolved crimes.

Vince Muscat, il-Koħħu, one of three men who planted and detonated the bomb that killed the journalist, said he would reveal all and provide information on previously unmentioned parties in order to help investigators join the dots in the complex murder plot.

This emerged on Friday as Muscat filed a judicial protest in the civil courts. In it, he explained how he had formally requested a presidential pardon on 30 November 2019 and had received no reply.

He had subsequently sent a letter of clarification on 17 December 2019. In reply to that letter, the president’s secretary had stated that the letter had been forwarded to the justice minister for his consideration so that he may advise the president.

No further correspondence was received after that, Muscat’s lawyer Marc Sant argued.

In his 17 December letter, Muscat had indicated that he was ready to fully cooperate and help the police get to the bottom of a number of unsolved cases.

The following January he had been summoned to police headquarters for a series of meetings with inspectors Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra.

The five meetings were recorded on nine CDs which both parties were given copies of. They contain information about several crimes including the Caruana Galizia murder.

Muscat said that he had additional credible and trustworthy information that would solve these crimes and identify a network of people involved in the journalist’s assassination, as well as “other crimes of persons who have not yet been mentioned or charged”.

During the last session on 18 February 2020, Inspector Arnaud had said that the investigators would be going over their notes and recordings to see if there are any further questions for the accused man.

That day, the parties had agreed that during the next meeting – which would be the last one – the investigators would be recording everything which Muscat had told Arnaud on previous occasions when no recording was being made and the inspector was only taking down notes.

From that day onwards, he said, the investigators were making every possible excuse to avoid this last meeting and therefore having to complete the report requested of them.

“The actions of Inspector Keith Arnaud and Inspector Kurt Zahra clearly show that they are playing for time, in the veiled interests of involved third parties, actions which are inexplicable,” Muscat argued.

He insisted that he had done his part of the deal and given all the information he had to investigators, but the investigators were not fulfilling their duties.

He suggested that the investigators were not being allowed to work because of threats or interference because the whole truth could affect the stability of the current government.

The inertia in Muscat’s treatment contrasted with the speed with which Melvin Theuma was treated, he said.

Theuma’s pardon was passed through cabinet last year over the space of a few days.

The lawyer said this difference in attitude alone raised serious and legitimate doubts about the investigators and their operations and whether they were being held back by third parties from exercising their duties.

This, in turn, leads to questions about the intentions behind Theuma’s pardon, he said.

“One asks whether everything was planned and prepared for in advance, before Melvin Theuma’s arrest,” Sant said.

This was of more importance now that it was found that a number of tapes were deleted and not presented to the magistrate compiling evidence against Yorgen Fenech by the prosecuting inspectors. They were instead presented by the defence, something which Sant says is “inexplicable.”

In actual fact, these ‘missing’ tapes were not deleted and in court it emerged that they had not been extracted because they were saved in a different file format.

Muscat requested the defendants to immediately give the President advice to pardon him so that he could give his information. Their failure to act was causing damage to the Rule of Law and the administration of justice in the country.

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