Statement by #occupyjustice outside the Valletta Police Station today.
Six months ago, on 19th April, #occupyjustice activists visited the Valletta Police Station to pass to the police information they appeared not to have seen, though it was published on the world’s media: that Minister Chris Cardona knew alleged assassin Alfred Degiorgio and met him before Degiorgio allegedly murdered Daphne Caruana Galizia.
After our protest, Chris Cardona said that of his own free will he spoke to the police and told them what he already said publicly: that he did not know Alfred Degiorgio.
It now turns out that Chris Cardona lied on this as well. Once again investigative journalism is revealing what our institutions cover up. Chris Cardona knew Alfred Degiorgio and witnesses testify to a social and private event where they were together.
No doubt we’ll hear again that this does not amount to evidence that proves Chris Cardona commissioned or was an intermediary in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. At least, though the evidence being published, including information on simultaneous communications between a person from the crime world and Minister Cardona and Alfred Degiorgio, demonstrates that Chris Cardona is lying about what he knows.
La Repubblica yesterday reported that the Maltese secret services withheld from Magistrate (now Judge) Anthony Vella information on phone communications that indicates a connection between Alfred Degiorgio and Chris Cardona.
This adds to series of manipulations of information, limitations on investigations and a conscious and coordinated effort not to find the truth on who knew beforehand Daphne Caruana Galizia would be killed and what role people in politics may have had in this assassination.
It is clear that the close relationship between Minister Chris Cardona and the people who committed the murder makes his position in government untenable. Because of the authority he represents it is impossible for the authorities to investigate the case as they should whilst being careful not to step on political toes.
It is no excuse that Chris Cardona practised as a lawyer in criminal cases. This is not a matter of past acquaintances between clients and lawyer; these are friendships and familiarity retained between a government Minister and persons known to the police and the security services for smuggling, drug trafficking and contract killings.
This is a clear and unacceptable danger to the proper administration of justice.
The investigation of this assassination is loaded with suspicions of actions calculated to ignore any involvement of the state. Only hours after the killing, the police reached the verdict that the killing had no political connection and informed the press of this direction. Under the strict supervision of Silvio Valletta, the police filtered information to keep away any indication of a political connection. Silvio Valletta remained in control at least until the constitutional court found no one can have their mind at rest that justice would be served while a government Minister’s spouse is controlling the investigation. In spite of the court’s order, the government appealed to try to keep him in place.
A government spokesman told the press there is no intention of making any form of an offer to the accused assassins in exchange of evidence against those who hired them.
When Inspector Keith Arnaud spoke to us after our April protest here he told us he had decided he had no reason to interrogate Chris Cardona and that he did not know Daphne Caruana Galizia reported on occasion Chris Cardona was publicly inebriated. He told us this when we asked him if he verified if Chris Cardona had been at the Ferdinand Bar before Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed and if those who saw him there thought he was sober.
Our sincere hope is for justice to be served on those who planned, paid for and organised this assassination. If the police have the evidence that leads them to persons from the crime world, justice should be served on those persons.
But while political interference and manipulation of evidence and information by the government remain, we will (even if someone is accused of commissioning the crime) rightly remain suspicious that a part of the truth is hidden.
We expect Chis Cardona to resign and we expect an investigation into what he knew, what he knows and why he lied about what he knows. If he does not leave of his own accord, the Prime Minister must immediately dismiss Chris Cardona. He’d be otherwise confirming once again that the conspiracy to hide the truth is led directly by Joseph Muscat.
We have returned here to the Valletta Police Station to inform the police of what is reported in the international media for them to take the action they should have long taken.