Garnishee orders against Caruana Galizia filed for removal by Cardona days after murder

The orders, instituted by Chris Cardona and aide Joe Gerada led to the freezing of some €47,460 in Daphne Caruana Galizia's bank account

Chris Cardona said he had requested the removal of the garnishee order against Daphne Caruana Galizia
Chris Cardona said he had requested the removal of the garnishee order against Daphne Caruana Galizia

Economy minister Chris Cardona has told the Malta Independent that he filed a request for the removal of garnishee orders against Daphne Caruana Galizia, days after her murder.

The garnishee orders were instituted by Cardona as well as his consultant Joe Gerada against Caruana Galizia in February of this year and approved by the courts, which led to the freezing of some €47,460 in her bank account.

During Parliament’s discussion of the second version of the Media and Defamation Bill on Tuesday, PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami criticised Cardona for supporting the bill, which would no longer allow people to file garnishee orders against journalists, when he himself had two orders in place against Caruana Galizia.

When asked for a reaction to the claims, Cardona said that had the facts been properly checked, Fenech Adami “would have realised that through my lawyers I filed a request for the garnishee orders to be removed a few days after the tragic death of Mrs Caruana Galizia.”

“Unlike my counterparts from the Opposition, I did not feel, due to the sensitivity of the circumstances, that I should make any public statements that could possibly be spun or interpreted as me trying to get political mileage from the situation,” he added.

Caruana Galizia had alleged that an eyewitness spotted Cardona and Gerada’s at a brothel in Velbert, outside Essen in Germany where the two were on official state business. Cardona and his aide denied the claims, filing two libel suits each against Caruana Galizia and requested precautionary warrants worth the maximum possible damages awarded at law, of around €11,750.

A crowd-funding website was subsequently set up, to cover for the €47,460 of the frozen funds and within a few days, almost €70,000 was raised.

During a court hearing on the libel case instituted by Cardona, Caruana Galizia’s son, Matthew, claimed that Cardona had an interest in stopping the case from moving forward and said that the family was ready to continue the case in their mother’s name.

Those who instituted a case, when one dies, have the option to drop it or continue against the deceased person’s family.

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