Suspected middleman in Caruana Galizia assassination requests presidential pardon

Man arrested as part of money laundering ring is believed to be middleman in Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination

The Menqa area in Marsa where the arrests were first made in December 2017
The Menqa area in Marsa where the arrests were first made in December 2017

A presidential pardon has been mooted for a key suspect who claims to know who masterminded Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination plot, the Times has reported.

The suspected “middleman” was arrested by police on Thursday during a raid that targeted a suspected money laundering ring the man forms part of. 

Experts from Europol seized devices in the middleman’s possession on instruction of the magistrate leading the murder inquiry. Europol’s analysis of his devices will offer up further evidence about those involved in the assassination.

According to the report, police believe there are at least one or two other suspects involved in the murder but who have not yet been rounded up.

The middleman is believed to have linked the person suspected of commissioning the murder of Caruana Galizia to the men who carried out the murder, as well as those who helped procure the explosive device.

Police were given alleged middleman’s name but investigators wanted more information

Brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, and Vincent Muscat, were arrested in December 2017 and later accused with executing the assassination of Caruana Galizia.

The key to the problematic hypothesis of a double-tiered conspiracy in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia - the existence of a middleman who facilitated the mastermind - lies in unravelling a complex web of financial transactions, probably originating from a foreign source of income processed by a Maltese bank.

ANALYSIS • ‘Where will it all dovetail?’ Revisiting the criminal landscape preceding the Caruana Galizia assassination

This elusive piece of evidence would connect the mastermind to a criminal ring, or a handler already familiar with the Degiorgio brothers.

The second obstacle is to prove this lasting relationship with George Degiorgio ‘ic-Ciniz’, and Alfred Degiorgio ‘il-Fulu’, the material executors of the assassination, whom police investigators place higher up the criminal confraternity than Vince Muscat ‘il-Kohhu’.

The Caruana Galizia assassination was the last in a series of car bombs and gangland murders that had been previously portrayed as a chain of vendettas in the world of oil smuggling and drug trafficking.

“If the Degiorgios are connected to other car bombs, then there must be some form of financial relationship with this criminal ring, as recipients of hard cash or other forms of durable assets,” says one police investigator with knowledge of the Caruana Galizia investigation says.

All three accused, including Vince Muscat ‘il-Kohhu’, have claimed to be unemployed, yet they lived a far-from-penniless lifestyle, owning luxury cars and pleasure boats, although no immovable property. Property rents were paid in cash. Large transactions were wired to foreign recipients. Alfred Degiorgio played some €571,000 in Tumas-owned casinos. Now all three and George Degiorgio’s partner Adelina Pop are facing money laundering charges.

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