Pullicino Orlando wants judiciary watchdog to probe Caruana Galizia inquiring magistrate

Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando says that the magistrate leading the inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder 'may or may not have been influenced' by his connections with the victim's family after he 'ignored' police requests to take possession of her laptop

Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando (pictured) said Magistrate Vella may or may not be influenced by his connection with the Caruana Galizia family
Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando (pictured) said Magistrate Vella may or may not be influenced by his connection with the Caruana Galizia family

Former Nationalist Party MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando has called on the Commission for the Administration of Justice to investigate “serious shortcomings” by Magistrate Anthony Vella, who is carrying out the inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In a letter forwarded to the media, the chairman of the Malta Council for Science and Technology asked President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca to look into Magistrate Vella’s behaviour, which – he said – “may or may not have been influenced” by Magistrate Vella’s connections with the Caruana Galizia family.

Coleiro Preca has the constitutional role of chairing the commission.

Read also: Just seven days after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder police asked magistrate to take possession of her laptop

He asked the president to “look into what is widely being held as a very serious shortcoming on the part of Magistrate Anthony Vella”.

“It is now public knowledge that Magistrate Vella ignored the request of the police officers investigating the assassination of Mrs Daphne Caruana Galizia to take possession of a laptop that was withheld from them by family members,” Pullicino Orlando wrote.

In a subsequent Facebook post, Pullicino Orlando said the family's decision to withhold the laptop was setting "a dangerous precedent".

In an interview published by The Times of Malta on Tuesday, Corinne Vella, Daphne’s sister, revealed for the first time that the laptop was in the family’s possession and they did not intend to hand it over to the police because they did not trust them.

Pullicino Orlando said the laptop could have been a crucial piece of evidence in the case which, he said, had “shocked our country and the world”.

He noted that six months had already elapsed since the journalist’s murder.

“This behaviour may or may not have been influenced by Magistrate Vella’s connections with the aforementioned family,” he said.

 

More in National