Judge and Corradino boss could have stopped Degiorgio prison leave

Deputy Attorney General says judge and prisons boss were entitled to absolute discretion to deny Caruana Galizia assassin George Degiorgio prison leave

Self-confessed murderer George Degiorgio with his two sons, Denzel and Jaden
Self-confessed murderer George Degiorgio with his two sons, Denzel and Jaden

Malta’s deputy Attorney General has broken with the civil service’s customary silence on judicial matters, saying both Malta’s judiciary and prison system had total discretion in denying a Caruana Galizia assassin prison leave to attend a family event.

A shocked nation was outraged at photos of George Degiorgo ‘iċ-Ċiniż’ enjoying his family’s company at a hotel in St Julian’s attending the baptismal party of his grandchild. Degiorgio is serving 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

But Philip Galea Farrugia, deputy AG, said both the courts and the prison boss were entitled to use their discretion to deny Malta’s most high-profile convict, the liberty to attend a party on such thin grounds.

Galea Farrugia said the Correctional Services Agency’s CEO had absolute discretion to deny prison leave for Degiorgio, who is a sentenced prisoner for the Caruana Galizia assassination, but also the judge – to whom the request was made – because Degiorgio is still facing the charge of murdering lawyer Carmel Chircop.

Degiorgio is also serving time for money laundering.

“In the first case, the defence filed an application through the courts, when it had no need to. Indeed the Court of Criminal Appeal abstained on the request to leave the matter in the hands of the prisons CEO, as laid down in the law,” Galea Farrugia said.

“In the second case, the defence made its reques to the Court, which it accepted under clear and strict conditions...”

Galea Farrugia said both the CSA’s CEO and the courts had the power to exercise disretion on Degiorgio’s prison leave. “I don’t usually write posts about work, but I’m making an exception because I cannot stand the disinformation flying about... These are the objective and sacrosanct facts – nothing better than being loyal to the truth.”