Former Minister and Labour Party Deputy Leader Chris Cardona and sitting minister Carmelo Abela have been named in a letter which sees two suspects in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia claiming a conflict of interest.
Both Cardona and Abela are rejecting these accusations.
Times of Malta today reports that George and Alfred Degiorgio, through their lawyer, have written to the European Commissioner for Justice, accusing the government of not being able to take an unbiased position on their request for a pardon because they have information which implicates a former and sitting minister. The request for a pardon was turned down.
In their letter, the two suspects told Didier Reynders the government had rejected their requests for a pardon because it did not want to hear the information they had on Cardona’s alleged involvement in the assassination as well as Abela’s alleged involvement in “serious crimes”, including “complicity in armed robbery”.
“There is a serious conflict of interest due to the fact that my clients are offering information showing the involvement of the state in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the involvement of ministers of government (previous and current) in other very serious crimes and, hence, the state can never fairly assess any requests made by them,” their lawyer, William Cuschieri, said in his letter.
The Degiorgio brothers were accused of planting the bomb that killed Caruana Galizia in October 2017. Vince Muscat, who was accused with them, later admitted to his involvement in the crime. Yorgen Fenech is separately accused of being a mastermind in the assassination.
In his letter, Cuschieri said his clients were prepared to meet the commissioner or a person of his trust, members of Europol, Prime Minister Robert Abela and the media to explain the details of the information they held as well as to discuss their “genuine concerns regarding the possibility of a vested interest in protecting” the people they had mentioned.
The Degiorgios said they were offering information in exchange for immunity from prosecution, with details of the involvement of both politicians in the serious crimes.
The Degiorgios said they have details on the involvement of Cardona in what is believed to be a 2015 plot to assassinate Caruana Galizia.
The Degiorgios said they also had information on the involvement of Abela and Cardona in other serious crimes, saying they are in possession of evidence showing the “names and details of the masterminds of those crimes”, two of whom were the two politicians and members of the police force.
Speaking to Times of Malta on Tuesday, Cardona again denied any involvement in the crimes being mentioned. “It’s the same old story… same reaction,” he said.
“I deny any involvement whatsoever, directly or indirectly, in the plot or execution of the plot to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia or any involvement in the 2010 HSBC heist.”
Abela told Times of Malta that he has already strongly denied these allegations, “which are nothing but blatant lies that started being made by (Nationalist MP and lawyer) Jason Azzopardi some months ago.”