George Degiorgio’s mobile phones, including the one he allegedly used to trigger the bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia, were tapped by the Maltese police in the weeks preceding the murder but this did not stop him from carrying out the crime.
According to Italian daily La Repubblica, during the interrogations following his arrest on 5 December 2017, the police made Degiorgio listen to a recording of a call he made to top up the phone number he used to trigger the bomb.
This has raised questions over whether the interceptions could have provided information about the murder and the masterminds behind the heinous crime.
“What did the security services hear during the intercepted calls? Is it really possible that there was no single element which could have shed some light on what Degiorgio was up to? And in the days after the murder, did the tapped phones provide no clue on who commissioned the murder?” La Repubblica asked.
Moreover, the intercepted calls showed that Degiorgio and the two other accused, his brother Alfred and Vincent Muscat, frequented a garage in Zebbug where the bomb was assembled or delivered. However, the garage was not under police observation and was only searched after their arrest.
On Tuesday, the Daphne Project was launched and revealed a number of stories published by France’s Forbidden Stories, the Guardian, the New York Times, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Reuters, Le Monde, The Times of Malta and La Repubblica among others.
The journalists have for the past five months pored over 750,000 files and official documents to complete Daphne Caruana Galizia’s work on corruption and international money laundering networks.
Over the coming four weeks, the project will set out the dangers posed to law and order in Europe by alleged political corruption and poor controls on money laundering in Malta.
The project will publish revelations from a cache of 680,000 files leaked to Caruana Galizia in the final months of her life.
This is what has been revealed far:
Chris Cardona seen drinking with suspect
Economy minister Chris Cardona was seen drinking with one of the men accused of the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder in a Siggiewi bar. According to two witnesses, approached separately by journalists and interviewed by members of The Daphne Project, Cardona was seen drinking with one of the murder suspects at the bar in November 2017. The minister dismissed the allegations as “hearsay” and said he does not recall having any discussions with any of the three individuals accused of carrying out the car bombing.
Protecting Daphne’s sources
The Caruana Galizia family does not trust investigators with the murdered journalist’s laptop. Daphne’s sister Corrine Vella told The Daphne Project “She would always hide her laptop before going out. It was about protecting her sources. And she died protecting her sources. She knew that whatever information the police got hold of would go straight to the same people in government she was investigating.”
Daphne considered closing down her blog
Daphne Caruana Galizia considered stopping her blog after the June 2017 election, her husband Peter said in an interview. He told The Daphne Project, “After the last elections she considered stopping the blog because she felt it hadn’t helped at all and she wasn’t getting anywhere with people.” He said the years of constant attacks took their toll on his wife, adding ”she changed over the years. She wasn’t the person I met when she was 21, 20. And I don’t think she was very happy towards the end.”
Mastermind is being protected
Caruana Galizia’s family believes that the three men awaiting trial for the crime were acting on orders from inside Malta, and expressed concern that elements within the government may be protecting whoever commissioned the killing. “It is clear to us that the three men arraigned so far are simply contractors commissioned by a third party,” Peter Caruana Galizia said, adding “My sons and I are not convinced that our government really wants to establish who sent them, for fear such persons are in fact very close to our government. For this reason we may never know the truth.”
Accused tipped off before arrest
Exclusive details of the murder inquiry, including how the bombing was planned and executed, and police concerns that the alleged bombers were tipped off in advance of their arrest.
The investigations are now focused on who may have built the bomb, and on any connection between the accused and organised crime.
No politicians investigated
A previously unheard recording of Daphne Caruana Galizia made six days before she died in which she alleges horrendous, state-sanctioned vilification, and decades of threats against her life.
No politicians have been interviewed during the course of investigations into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a source familiar with the probe said. In the recording, Caruana Galizia spoke about the threats she had been receiving and experiencing, the intimidation she faced from members of government, members of parliament, the police and political party donors.
Interviews with Daphne’s family
Interviews with the journalist’s sons, including Matthew, who was one of the first on the scene just moments after the bomb went off.