Cardona publishes answers to Daphne Project, ‘reports have no foundation of truth’

Minister ‘does not recall’ meeting murder suspect in Siggiewi bar, suggests Nationalist MPs also had past association with suspects

Minister Chris Cardona has said he
Minister Chris Cardona has said he "does not recall" having spoken to one of the suspects charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

The minister of the economy Chris Cardona has described international media reports of a witness in Siggiewi placing him at a bar chatting with a suspect charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, as “clearly speculative, based on hearsay which have no foundation of truth.”

Cardona, who had requested a €47,000 garnishee on Caruana Galizia’s assets after the journalist alleged he had been in a German brothel, said the reports of the Daphne Project, a consortium of 18 media organisations, were “highly defamatory”.

“I welcome the fact that the Magistrate was informed on this speculative report which seems to be pushed by what media are identifying as ‘a high-ranking member of the Nationalist Opposition’,” Cardona said.

READ Witness saw Chris Cardona chatting with Caruana Galizia murder suspect in Siggiewi bar

According to the media reports, the MP in question introduced a witness who placed Cardona at Ferdinand’s Bar in Siggiewi some time in November, speaking to murder suspect Alfred Degiorgio ‘il-Fulu’.

In his answers to the Daphne Project, Cardona said that “like most seasoned criminal lawyers in Malta, I know who some of the suspects in the case are. The particular pub you mention welcomes patrons from all walks of life, including other politicians. I do not however recall having any discussions with any of these individuals, and have definitely never had any meetings with them. Anything else is baseless rumour and speculation.”

Cardona was asked four questions and his answers, which were published on his Facebook page are being reproduced below.

In his post on Facebook, Cardona added:

“It would be interesting had the high-ranking member of the Nationalist Opposition told the reporters who and how many high-ranking members of the Opposition frequent the mentioned bar. It would had also been appropriate for the same source to tell them how a high-ranking member of the Nationalist Opposition was defence lawyer of one the brothers who stand accused with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder,” Cardona said.

Cardona himself has been a defence lawyer to murder suspect Vincent Muscat ‘il-Kohhu’, who was charged with participation in the 2010 heist on the HSBC corporate headquarters in Qormi.

Cardona also posted his answers to the Daphne Project on Facebook, whom he told that he had “no idea who would have wanted to kill her, and if I did, I would have definitely and without hesitation informed the authorities.”

Cardona was summoned by the first inquiring magistrate Consuelo Herrera, together with others involved in politics who had been recently mentioned by Caruana Galizia in her blog. “To date I still do not know what she would have asked me and the other people who were summoned because Caruana Galizia’s family immediately objected to that particular magistrate being in charge of the inquiry due to the fact that she had also, for a while, been a subject of Caruana Galizia’s blog. Following that I was never called in by the newly-appointed inquiring magistrate or any authorities on the matter.”

Cardona was also asked about allegations that he had been witnessed inside the Acapulco brothel in the German town of Velbert, which Caruana Galizia had reported about claiming a source had seen the minister there. Cardona filed a libel suit against her as well as requesting a garnishee order on her assets. “I have opposed the claims… and have evidence, including documentary, attesting to this.”