President asked to declare Abela’s limit on Caruana Galizia inquiry ‘null and void'

Arnold Cassola writes to George Vella asking that “illegitimate” decision to limit mandate of Caruana Galizia inquiry be reversed

President George Vella
President George Vella

The independent candidate Arnold Cassola has called on the President of the Republic to ensure that the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia be given all the time it needs to complete its mandate.

Cassola told George Vella that Prime Minister Robert Abela’s ‘one-time’ extension of the inquiry to December 2020 was “illegitimate”.

“Abela’s former ‘employer’ is former prime minister Joseph Muscat, whose administration granted Abela hundreds of thousands in direct orders to his law firm. Muscat even appointed him a consultant to the Cabinet, right up to January 2020. This is an enormous conflict of interest for Abela,” Cassola said.

Cassola warned that by limiting the inquiry’s mandate, Abela could prevent it from investigating all possible connections that Muscat had with Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech, the alleged mastermind in the assassination.

“I am asking the Commission for the Administration of Justice to declare Abela’s decision as null and invalid. The public inquiry should have all the time it needs to investigate and arrive at the truth that all honest Maltese citizens aspire to.”

Muscat was aware through Security Service briefings that Fenech was a chief suspect in the assassination, but so was his chief of staff Keith Schembri; both are said to have stayed in WhatsApp communication with Fenech throughout this time.

“Muscat’s role in the aftermath of the assassination is not yet completely known.”

A note of submission to the board of the public inquiry was also submitted by the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation. Referencing the Terms of Reference of the public inquiry, they argued that it is within the remit of the board, and not of the government, to decide when the work is complete.