The Police have not reacted to the question on whether the alleged assassins hired to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia were in their opinion tipped off prior to their arrest.

They should. The Police’s job does not stop at the arrest of someone they suspect of committing a crime. Nabbing the criminal is the relatively easy part, particularly on a rocky island like Malta. That’s when the real job of securing a conviction starts and all evidence possible to sustain their prosecution must be preserved.

A tip off in good time can make the difference between the success and the failure of a prosecution case.

Tipping off a criminal ahead of their arrest is cooperation with a fugitive. It is effectively complicity in crime.

Iċ-Ċiniż has been a protagonist in the criminal scene for many years. He is, as these people are euphemistacilly described in anodyne police statements, “known to the police”. That can mean a lot of things. It usually means that there have been past convictions. It also often suggests the police know more about the person’s misdeeds than they can possibly prove in a court of law.

What it can also mean and is never quite intended to be understood that way is that the person has friends with uniforms.

It is a requirement of organised crime to extend networks inside law enforcement agencies. This is inevitable as it is horrifying. And the delusion that Malta is some tropical paradise where the extent of crime stops at Romanian pickpockets is just that: a delusion.

Our open seas are a veritable wild west and the murders and the executions are just the floating tip of a black polluting iceberg. That this network reaches within the police force should surprise no one. Though perhaps it still does.

So the question to the Police about this case ought to be refined. Do the Police rule out that the assassins were tipped off on the morning of their arrest, or later the night before, by someone from within Police headquarters? If not, have they investigated this suspicion and have these investigations led anywhere?

I should add that I am not seeking to cast a shadow on the arresting, investigating and prosecuting officers of this case. The police head quarters are a big and complex place.