Putting deputy police commissioner Silvio Valletta in charge of the investigations into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia is what derailed the ongoing investigations and not the court’s decision to have him removed.
On Friday, the Constitutional Appeal Court confirmed a lower court’s decision that Valletta’s involvement was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Valletta, who is married to Cabinet minister Justyne Caruana should have never been put in charge of the proceedings against three men accused of the journalist’s murder.
Yet, government and its mercenaries in the so-called independent media mocked the Caruana Galizia family when the political interference in the investigations was first flagged.
The landmark decision vindicated the family’s concerns that there is no willingness to identify and take action against the mastermind of the heinous crime.
The family affirms that Caruana Galizia was murdered for her investigative work which involved the highest echelons of government and the political class. In its ruling the court observed that Valletta himself had testified that “no-one was excluded” and that meant his spouse Justyne Caruana and himself too were not above suspicion.
The court also said that in view of allegations that the anti-money laundering agency – the FIAU – where Valletta was a board member, failed to investigate a report on money-laundering by political persons, including ministers, his continued presence in the murder investigation “seriously undermined the element of objective impartiality”.
This flagrant conflict of interest was clear from day one but apparently was of no concern to government, the Attorney General and the police.
This only confirms the suspicions that there is no political will to identify the mastermind behind the murder. It is all too clear that the Labour government’s only intent is to silence and discredit Caruana Galizia, in life and in death.
Which brings us to Chris Cardona and his decision to drop his libel cases against the journalist. After Caruana Galizia reported that Cardona and his aide Joe Gerada were spotted at the FKK Acapulco brothel in Velbert while on official business in Germany, the minister retaliated by going for the nuclear option of serving Caruana Galizia with a garnishee order amounting to €46,000.
This effectively froze Caruana Galizia’s bank accounts and on the fateful day of her death on 16 October, Caruana Galizia was on her way to the bank see whether she could access her accounts.
After going gung-ho on Caruana Galizia, the Minister decided to drop the cases, as did Gerada this week, meaning that Cardona would rather live in the shadows cast by the allegations than go all the way and have court confirm his declared innocence.
In February 2017, Cardona’s spokesperson told the Malta Independent: “although the allegations made about him are baseless and, to date, unsupported, the Minister is ready to substantiate his statements by means of concrete evidence, as opposed to the source of such allegations that has not. All the necessary evidence will be produced in Court during libel proceedings since the Minister feels this is the right forum for them to be presented in the light of such serious allegations against him.”
And Cardona’s decision to drop the cases has nothing to do with Caruana Galizia death because after first insisting that he would not drop the cases and he would press ahead with providing court evidence which would prove his innocence, Cardona’s lawyers made a formal cancellation request after Cardona failed to turn up in Court in May.
Cardona took advantage of a technicality in court proceedings to have the cases cancelled and thus preventing evidence showing whether Cardona was indeed at the FKK Acapulco from being presented in court.
If Cardona is as innocent as he claims to be why not have the court prove it? If Caruana Galizia was truly a victim of a ruse aimed at misleading her about Cardona’s whereabouts, as Malta Today reported in July, why did Cardona opt for the cancellation of the cases?
If his aide was equally innocent and felt aggrieved by the the allegations, why did he drop the cases?
The Minister said he was going to present the evidence in court. He did not.
They have no problem calling Caruana Galizia ‘a liar’ at every turn, yet it’s members of government who keep failing to come clean.