The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Motive for Caruana Galizia murder still unclear, police commissioner tells inquiry

Friday, 20 November 2020, 12:12 Last update: about 13 days ago

The motive for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia is still unclear, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa told the public inquiry into the journalist’s death on Friday.

Testifying before the three-strong panel of judges – made up of former Judge Michael Mallia, Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Said Pullicino, and Judge Abigail Lofaro – Gafa said that even though people were charged in connection to the murder, the motive remains unclear.

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Thus far, four men have been charged in connection with the murder; George Degiorgio, Alfred Degiorgio, and Vince Muscat with carrying it out, and Yorgen Fenech with commissioning it.  The self-confessed middleman for the murder Melvin Theuma meanwhile has been granted a presidential pardon to reveal all he knows on the case.

Gafa said that changes made to the homicide squad have resulted in there being an inspector focused almost entirely on the Caruana Galizia murder, something which was not the case before, with every new murder detracting from the attention to this one.

He told the inquiry board that all inquiring magistrates involved in the various investigations surrounding the Panama Papers, 17 Black and others, had appointed foreign experts.

“So, we must wait for the outcome of their investigations. Believe me, Mr Justice, it is not easy,” Gafa said.

He did not comment on the lack of financial crime investigations by his predecessors, instead explaining the changes to the Financial Crime Investigation Department (FCID) soon after he became commissioner.

He said that after seeing attacks on the same sector day-in-day-out he saw the need for a “new stimulus” in the department, which came through the appointment of Assistant Commissioner Alexandra Mamo as its head.

“Every two weeks I meet Assistant Commsisioner Alexandra Mamo for an update. My job isn't to investigate, it is to give direction,” he said.

Gafa's testimony concluded behind closed doors.

Rabat mayor and OPM customer care official Sandro Craus and IGM President and journalist Sylvana Debono are expected to testify in the next inquiry sitting on Tuesday afternoon.

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