Degiorgios will admit guilt in Caruana Galizia murder in exchange for reduced sentence

Degiorgio brothers seek reduced sentence in Caruana Galizia murder and pardon for past crimes to tell all on the journalist's assassination and other high profile crimes

George and Alfred Degiorgio are willing to admit guilt in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder and identify higher ranking figures involved in the assassination, in return for a reduced sentence, the brothers have told MaltaToday.

In a reply to questions this newspaper sent through their lawyer William Cuschieri, the Degiorgio brothers reiterated their offer to tell investigators "everything", about other murders, bombs and crimes in return for a pardon on these cases.

"We want a judgment upon admission in the trial of Daphne’s murder, which judgment is in line with that already handed down to Vincent Muscat. We are willing to divulge everything we know about other murders, bombs and crimes provided we receive a pardon. We emphasise that the families of other victims should be served justice too," the Degiorgio brothers said. It was specified that they are also willing to tell all and name others involved in the Daphne murder conspiracy.

The statement comes a few hours after Reuters revealed that George Degiorgio said that he would plead guilty ahead of any trial by jury in the Caruana Galizia case and indicated willingess to provide testimony that would implicate others involved in the murder and in a previous unrealised plot to kill the journalist. The revelation was made in a unique interview he gave the international news agency as part of a podcast series on Caruana Galizia's murder that will start airing later this month.

But George Degiorgio also unrepentantly told Reuters that had he predicted the fall-out from the assassination he would have asked for €10 million and not €150,000.

This is the first time that the Degiorgios have publicly admitted guilt and shown their willingness to plea bargain in the Caruana Galizia case on the same lines as co-accused Vincent Muscat, who admitted guilt in February last year. Muscat was jailed for 15 years and granted a presidential pardon to tell all on the murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop.

The Degiorgios are charged with executing the murder plot, which saw the journalist being killed on 16 October 2017 by a bomb placed inside her car.

The two brothers had previously offered to provide information on the Caruana Galizia murder and other high profile crimes in the hope of obtaining a presidential pardon. An attempt was made last April in the form of a pre-emptive constitutional application in which they pledged to provide information which is "true, confirmable, credible, direct and which is not hearsay".

However all of the Degiorgios' previous attempts to obtain a presidential pardon have so far been rejected. The difference now is that they appear willing to negotiate a plea deal on the Caruana Galizia case.

In his comments to Reuters, George Degiorgio indicated that he and his brother did not want to "go down alone" for Caruana Galizia's murder.