The Malta Independent 18 May 2021, Tuesday

Cabinet recommends to President to refuse pardon requests by Degiorgio brothers, Vince Muscat

Monday, 19 April 2021, 11:28 Last update: about 28 days ago

The Cabinet has decided to advise the President of Malta not to accept the presidential pardon requests filed by brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio and Vince Muscat.

The government said that the refusal recommendation was in line with the recommendations given to it by the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner.

It said that the Cabinet's decision is not just based on this advice, but also on the national interest and in the interest of justice.

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Brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio wrote to President George Vella requesting a pardon in return for naming a former minister who was a "mastermind" in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia on 23 March.

Their lawyer also said that his clients would also name a middleman "against whom no steps have been taken so far." They said that they could provide "direct and credible information that is not hearsay."

Alfred Degiorgio had also said he is willing to name a former minister and also a sitting minister who were "masterminds" behind an attempted robbery and an attempted homicide, as well as other persons involved in the case.

Muscat meanwhile - who already has been granted a pardon in connection with one murder, that of lawyer Carmel Chircop - said he could offer information on another murder and two armed robberies.

The government said that Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela had recused himself from the Cabinet decision because of the "baseless allegations" pushed by PN MP Jason Azzopardi - where Azzopardi alleged that Abela was connected to a failed 2010 heist - which he has filed libel proceedings over.

Abela said that he recused himself even though there was no statutory reason to do so, but did so in order to make sure that there is no suspicion of impartiality or doubt in the Cabinet's decision.

The Degiorgio brothers are two out of three people who were accused of being the hitmen who killed Daphne Caruana Galizia in a car bomb in October 2017.

The third - Vincent Muscat - pleaded guilty earlier this year in exchange for a 15 year prison sentence in connection to the murder. He has since testified against the brothers in court.


 

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