The Malta Independent 10 December 2019, Tuesday

Europol still working closely with Malta police on Caruana Galizia murder investigation

Rachel Attard and Neil Camilleri Wednesday, 16 October 2019, 09:21 Last update: about 3 months ago

Europol is still working hand in hand with the Malta police on the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation, sources close to the case have told The Malta Independent.

Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb on 16 October 2017, a few metres away from her Bidnija home. Investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Europol had been called to assist with the investigation, with their input being invaluable for the arrest and subsequent arraignment of the people suspected of killing the journalist – brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio and Vince Muscat.

While the American FBI are no longer involved in the investigation, Europol is still actively working with the Malta police in their efforts to identify the masterminds behind the murder.

A source said that, contrary to what has been stated in certain media reports, the Malta Police and Europol hold regular meetings, both in Malta and at the Hague, and Europol is being kept abreast of all developments in the case.

Decisions about the investigation are taken jointly, a source explained.

This newspaper was told that the three entities – the Malta Police Force, Europol, and the FBI – had worked seamlessly together, bringing experience, intelligence and modern equipment into the mix.

While equipment brought in by the FBI was crucial in tracing the locations of the suspects through their mobile phone data, the Malta police, through intelligence they had on the suspects, were quick to identify the alleged perpetrators.

Details from the investigation have been presented as evidence in court, highlighting how the suspects triggered the bomb by an SMS sent from a boat out at sea.

The vessel was seized as part of the investigation and a number of mobile phones were recovered from the seabed next to the potato shed where the suspects were arrested on 4 December.

The suspects were formally indicted in July of this year, meaning they will now face a trial by jury. It was reported last week that Judge Aaron Bugeja asked to be recused from the case, with the reasons given remaining unknown. The trial has now been assigned to Madame Justice Edwina Grima.

 

Media reports ‘could jeopardise investigation’

Meanwhile, the sources also warned that recent media reports could have placed the entire investigation in jeopardy and certain involved persons in danger. Last week, Times of Malta reported that one of three men accused of the murder was being offered a presidential pardon in return for information on the other two suspects and possibly about the mastermind. The report, the sources said, could have serious consequence on the investigation.

The sources also said that another report, published a week before and practically identifying one of the people thought to be behind the murder, could have tipped people off about the investigators’ next move, which could also hinder the already difficult investigation.

 

Events commemorating the 2nd anniversary of the killing

A number of events are being held today to commemorate the second anniversary of the journalist’s murder.

A silent gathering will be held in Bidnija at 3pm.

A mass in suffrage of Daphne Caruana Galizia will be held at St Francis Church in Valletta, at 6pm. The mass will be celebrated by Archbishop’s delegate Fr David Cilia and Don Luigi Ciotti, founder and leader of Libera dalle Mafie.

At 7pm there will be a march starting from Pjazza Teatru Rjal moving down Republic Street and stopping in front of the Great Siege monument.

A demonstration and a number of speeches will be held here. Former European President Antonio Tajani will be among the speakers at the event. 

 

 

  • don't miss