Chris Cardona never testified in open court to back his claim Daphne Caruana Galizia slandered him when she said he was in three-way sex with a paid prostitute while on duty on government business. But when you file a libel suit you take an oath that you know your claim to be true.

Not that there was ever any doubt. Chris Cardona’s most fervent supporters know full well the character of the man.

Although there’s a lot to be argued against paying prostitutes for sex and there’s a lot to be argued against doing so while on official duty at the public’s expense, sex with prostitutes is not what this is about.

This is about intimidation of the free press, the use of the courts to suppress independent journalism, the abuse of power of a minister to cover up his lies.

Chris Cardona could have laughed off the accusation if it were true and trust to hope Joseph Muscat would not fire him and his voters would not punish him. He had every reason to believe that would happen. His prime minister had said his would be the most feminist government ever but he lied about many other things. Chris Cardona would have blackmailed his prime minister about what he knew about him and his other comrades and sought to survive.

And since Chris Cardona’s voters and supporters were perfectly happy voting for him as he stumbled from one pub to another and saw him drag himself from one scorned girlfriend to the next, they would not likely have drawn the line if he admitted, sheepishly and with a boyish grin of guilty pride, paying someone to rock his balls.

But instead of taking even that risk, to protect a reputation he never had to begin with, he passed Daphne Caruana Galizia and her family through hell on earth, made worse only by her assassination.

It is clear to one and all that he could not now face the consequence for having done so much to cover up his lies. The cases that held evidence that could prove he lied have been allowed to lapse or have been withdrawn. There’s some confusion about a libel suit he filed against Netnews but it seems that’s been pulled as well.

But Lawrence Cutajar now has eminently reasonable basis to suspect Chris Cardona lied under oath when claiming Daphne Caruana Galizia libelled him. He also has the means to verify that suspicion.

If the evidence in that sealed envelope pertaining to these now dead cases has not yet been ‘lost’, there is evidence within reach of the police that could present a case of perjury: a criminal offence which Chris Cardona, if there is justice in this country, should face prosecution and if convicted punishment for.

Shall we start calling around Mġarr restaurants?