PM under pressure to remove Chris Cardona from deputy leader - report

Robert Abela being pressured by Labour officials and ministers to remove Chris Cardona from party deputy leadership post following court claims surrounding Caruana Galizia murder

Former economy minster Chris Cardona
Former economy minster Chris Cardona

The Prime Minister is being pressured to remove Chris Cardona from deputy leader of the Labour Party after claims were made in court about his alleged role in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder.

Labour sources told sister newspaper Illum that party officials and even government ministers were urging Robert Abela to not allow the claims surrounding Cardona to cause damage to the PL.

Last Monday, Caruana Galizia murder middleman Melvin Theuma alleged in court, during the compilation of evidence against suspected mastermind Yorgen Fenech, that he had been told that Cardona had passed on €350,000 to Alfred Degiorgio, one of the three men accused with executing the car bomb murder.

The newspaper reported its sources on Sunday as saying that Cardona is also mentioned in other recordings which have not yet been played in court.

The possible involvement of Cardona is of great concern to various Labour officials as well as Abela, it said.

Abela, it said, was being "bombarded" from different sides to not allow Cardona to ruin all the progress made when it comes to good governance.

This week, Cardona dismissed the court claims as "nonsense, based on lies."

In November 2019, Cardona had suspended himself as economy minister in the wake of mass protests concerning revelations emerging from the Caruana Galizia murder case. He was not made a minister when Robert Abela took over Joseph Muscat as prime minister.

Last April, he also stepped down from a Labour MP, but said he would be retaining his role as the party's deputy leader.

Cardona was the subject of significant controversy in January 2017, when Caruana Galizia had alleged that the then minister had been as brothel in Germany while on official government business, claims which he denied.

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