Prime Minister Robert Abela told journalists on Tuesday night that any request for a presidential pardon will be processed according to the law.
He was questioned by journalists just hours after it became public that Brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio had written to President George Vella requesting a pardon in return for naming a former minister who was a “mastermind” in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. They also said that in return, they will reveal information about other crimes, including naming a former minister and also a sitting minister who were “masterminds” behind an attempted robbery and an attempted homicide.
The brothers’ lawyer, William Cuschieri, asked the President to consider the pardon request with caution, noting that one of the people who could be named is a sitting member of Cabinet and cannot be part of any discussion on the matter.
Abela said that every pardon request moves according to the relative process, which means that he will seek the advice of the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General, he said. “I will not do the same as others and meet up with criminals in the middle of the night,” Abela added, referring to an incident in the 1990s.
He said that he will act according to the rule of law and according to the Constitution, adding that the three pending pardon requests will be handled in this way. The three pardons are presumably by the Degiorgio brothers and one by Vince Muscat in relation to other crimes he knows about. Muscat had already received one Presidential pardon to tell all about the Carmel Chircop murder.
Abela was also asked about claims made by PN MP Jason Azzopardi in Parliament, that former Economy Minister Chris Cardona was arrested by police in connection with the failed heist on the HSBC headquarters in 2010.
Abela said Lawrence Gonzi was Prime Minister in 2010. “They say the institutions used to work back then, I have serious doubts.” Abela said that John Rizzo was Police Commissioner back then, and so “the questions should be directed to them.”