The Malta Independent 20 November 2017, Monday

Daphne’s murder: Laptop was not found at the crime scene - sources

Rachel Attard Wednesday, 25 October 2017, 08:07 Last update: about 25 days ago

Daphne Caruana Galizia’s laptop was not found on the crime scene, The Malta Independent has learnt.

Sections of the media last week reported that a damaged laptop had been found near the wreckage of the car which blew up on Monday 16 October in Bidnija. Sources have confirmed that this was not the case.

On Monday, forensic experts from the Malta Police Force, assisted by Dutch experts, started combing over the scene of the crime and collected several pieces of evidence. The FBI personnel, who are also assisting, were never present on the crime scene.

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Part of Daphne’s destroyed smart phone was elevated from the scene.

Investigators say that Caruana Galizia had not taken her laptop with her on that particular trip. If she had done so, the forensic experts would have found evidence on the ground.

Her mobile phone is also being examined, as can be seen from her WhatsApp profile, which has registered activity since the murder. But it is understood that the data is safe.

Sources close to the newsroom said that as part of the investigation her sim card has been cloned. This is done with the help of mobile service providers in similar cases. Asked if her WhatsApp messages or any other messages that were stored in her phone will be retrieved, the source said that since the messaging application is encrypted, the messages cannot be seen. Therefore it is unlikely that any data can be retrieved.

Court application filed by journalists

Last Thursday, all media houses that gathered to express solidarity with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family filed a court application for the investigators to protect the Caruana Galizia’s sources. Lawyer Stefano Filletti, who filed the application, yesterday told this newsroom that this type of application did not merit a yes or no reply for the magistrate. He said the application called on the court to take all measures it deemed fit to protect Daphne’s sources. The lawyer said that he assumed that Magistrate Vella had taken the request on board.

Oil smuggling

Sources close to the investigation told this newsroom that the police are closely looking to see if there is any connection between an investigation into fuel smuggling and the murder of Caruana Galizia.

Last Sunday, The Malta Independent on Sunday said one of the main leads the police are pursuing is that the crime could have been commissioned by a local resident with ties to international organised crime.

Yesterday Rainews reported that out of the various possible leads which could explain the motive behind Caruana Galizia's murder, oil smuggling reports are deemed as "the most credible". The courts in Catania are conducting an inquiry dubbed "Dirty Oil" which is looking into the involvement of Italian nationals and citizens from other countries, including Malta, in the oil trafficking business between Libya and the Southern parts of the Mediterranean.

Zwara is home to an organisation which takes care of the oil smuggling operations between Libya, Malta and Italy, Rainews said. Semtex is considered the signature of terrorism and mafia in Libya. Last week it was revealed that Caruana Galizia car bomb was made of Semtex.

 

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