The Malta Independent 25 June 2017, Sunday

Alfred Mifsud says former partner ‘used’ Daphne Caruana name to threaten him

Monday, 19 June 2017, 16:23 Last update: about 5 days ago

Outgoing deputy governor of the Central Bank Alfred Mifsud said today his former partner used Daphne Caruana Galizia’s name to threaten him, and said she would spoil his chances of becoming CBM governor.

Mifsud was testifying in a libel case he instituted against the blogger after it was claimed that he had received cash from the representative of an American software company tasked with changing its bank's IT system.

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In his testimony, Mifsud explained that following the couple’s second breakup, his former partner Anna Zelbst had threatened that she would spoil his chances of becoming Governor unless he handed over a sum of money and property in Gozo.

When he told her that he had no intention of going back since he had entered into another relationship, Zelbst had told him that “Daphne will now come in handy.” He had told her to be careful and that she was entering dangerous waters. Zelbst had not taken his advice.

Following publication of the story, the police commenced criminal investigations. However, Mifsud testified it was only now that he had learnt, from Caruana Galizia’s earlier testimony, that his former partner had gone to the police back in 2006. At the time there had been no contact by the police.

Mifsud strongly denied the allegations made against him, stating that he had never met the late Ronnie Demajo at his home. The process involving the acquisition of the new software had been an open and transparent one all along, intended to improve the bank’s efficiency, he said.

Moreover, the police had not traced any of the alleged payments to his bank accounts. Certain deposits had however been found in Zelbst’s account.

Testifying, Caruana Galizia insisted that no source would invent a story which could potentially land him/her in prison.

She explained how she had been rather surprised when Anna Zelbst, Mifsud's former partner, had gone to her with the story.

At the time, they had not been on friendly terms. On an earlier occasion, when she had been introduced by Mifsud during an encounter at a restaurant, Zelbst had been rather ‘arrogant and aggressive’.

Caruana Galizia said that when Zelbst turned up with the story, she was already aware that the couple’s relationship was on the rocks. 

Zelbst had even spoken to the police about the matter following a break in the couple's relationship back in 2006.

Pressed by Mifsud's lawyer, Caruana Galizia said that the relationship between Mr Mifsud and Zelbst had been ‘an open situation.’ She did not need to ask her source for proof since the woman herself provided the proof.

Zelbst had allegedly been present when sums of cash were handed over to her former partner at the couple's Balzan home.  Besides, the businessman involved in the alleged corruption, the late Ronnie Demajo, was a personal acquaintance of Caruana Galizia.  

Caruana Galizia said she had confronted Mr Mifsud about the allegations. Although the two had always shared a relationship of mutual respect, the story had a news value which could not be overlooked.  

Following publication of the story, Mr Mifsud pulled out of the race and backed Mario Vella to the post.

Lawyer Pawlu Lia appeared for Mr Mifsud.

Lawyer Joseph Zammit Maempel appeared for Ms Caruana Galizia.

 

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