Government protests MEP’s ‘partisan’ letter ‘effectively accusing’ minister of murder

Maltese government accuses Nationalist MEP David Casa of effectively accusing Chris Cardona of being responsible for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Nationalist MEP David Casa
Nationalist MEP David Casa

The Maltese government has penned a letter of objection to the European Commission’s vice president Frans Timmermans and Commissioner for justice Vera Jourova, after Nationalist MEP David Casa demanding a public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

The move was prompted by reports in Italian newspaper La Repubblica, which said two witnesses to the magistrate investigating the murder of Caruana Galizia have claimed that Cardona and murder suspect Alfred Degiorgio had met each other at a bachelor’s party on 29 June, 2017, in a Fawwara villa. 

But the government told the Commissioners that Casa’s letter demanding a public inquiry “effectively implies that [Cardona] was responsible for the murder”, and said the letter was “baseless, fraught with suppositions and innuendoes and fails to provide any logical or credible justification or evidential basis,” European Affairs minister Helena Dalli said in the letter. 

READ MORE Man mentioned in Caruana Galizia blog evasive over Chris Cardona and Alfred Degiorgio phone calls 

The government also said it condemned the “partisan” spirit of the letter, which it said had ignored the efforts to bring to justice three men charged with the execution of the murder. “The ongoing investigation have been carried out with the assistance of a number and international agencies, including Europol. Such assistance is still being sought and provided to date.” 

Calls for a public inquiry have also been made by the Caruana Galizia family’s lawyers in London, with whom correspondence is ongoing with the Maltese Attorney General. 

Dalli also said it was incorrect that Malta had tried to halt an inquiry being carried out by the Dutch MP Peter Omtzigt inside the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. “What Malta has objected to is the involvement of Mr Omtzigt who has on prior occasion been considered to have manipulated evidence in an inquiry led by him for the purpose of attracting media attention. Surely such a grave matter had to be brought to the attention of the Council of Europe in the hope of ensuring the integrity of the inquiry in question.” 

Omtzigt, known for his criticism of the handling of the MH17 air disaster investigation, was caught on tape and via SMS instructing fake pro-Russian ‘witnesses’ on how to lie to victims’ relatives and journalists.

In a reaction, Casa said the letter was a weak attempt to defend Cardona, and would not change any of the facts published earlier this week.

“In the letter I sent to the European Commission on Monday, I referred to what had been revealed in the previous hours, and asked the European Commission to insist on a public independent inquiry on the role of the Maltese State in the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. To date, all we know is that which has been published by the media - facts that put a bad light on one of Muscat’s closest Ministers. These allegations further highlight the importantce of having a public independent inquiry.

“Helena Dalli and Owen Bonnici were too fast to believe one of their colleagues. If Helena Dalli and Owen Bonnici really wanted to know all the facts on this murder and the role of the Maltese State, they would have supported my appeal for a public independent inquiry. Muscat’s Ministers’ attitude continues to confirm that they have a lot to hide.” 

More in National