In a normal country where we would have assumed the prime minister of the land would be committed to half-way decent governance, Silvio Valletta’s statement in his own defence today would be the last nail in his wife’s political coffin. Justyne Caruana should not last the day as government minister.
We now know that in April 2018 Vincent Muscat told the police that Melvyn Theuma had hired him and the Degiorgio brothers to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia. At the time the chief investigator of this murder case was Silvio Valletta. Silvio Valletta did not say today that his staff in the police had not briefed him of this key development in the most important murder investigation of his life. If he had, I’d like to think they’ll have the courage to openly deny it.
Melvyn Theuma’s link to Yorgen Fenech was self-evident. It did not take Sherlock Holmes’ mind palace to suspect the owner of the hotel (and much else) where Melvyn Theuma operated as a gofer.
In his statement of today Silvio Valletta does not mind looking stupid and completely incompetent. He says he had no idea in September 2018 that his travelling companion to a football match was deeply implicated in the murder that until 4 months earlier he had been investigating for 9 months.
You had no idea, Silvio Valletta? Allow us to doubt that. You’re not as stupid as you say you are.
You were head of the criminal investigation department and a seasoned policeman of many years’ experience. You were senior investigator on some 6 other car bombings before Daphne and not once did you make an arrest in any of those cases.
And yet Yorgen Fenech who knew his way around horses, casino chips and gifts to the Marigold Foundation apparently also knew the identity of the go to bomb laying assassins of the country.
Melvyn Theuma testifies Yorgen Fenech specifically asked for the Degiorgios when he hired him to organise the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
You don’t find expert bombing assassins in the yellow pages. Most people would never in their life have occasion to stumble on that sort of information.
Did Yorgen Fenech’s friendship with Silvio Valletta have anything to do with that?
For nine months Silvio Valletta briefed journalists about his supposed investigations into Daphne’s killing. He threw them off the scent of Yorgen Fenech and the Electrogas connection and the implication on Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. And to this day he pretends not to have known Yorgen Fenech was a suspect. And yet, now, we know different.
The police investigation that the new police minister said today would be underway is not about some error of judgement by a police officer who’s since left the corps. The relationship we have just found out about suggests we’re dealing here with a bent cop who took gifts from the criminals he was supposed to protect us from and helped them escape justice.
How can his wife, Justyne Caruana, survive this? Not when we are aware of the allegation that Keith Schembri alerted Yorgen Fenech who in turn told Melvyn Theuma to alert the Degiorgios of their arrest in December 2017 when Yorgen Fenech was indeed nobody’s suspect.
Keith Schembri and Silvio Valletta are apart by one degree of separation, and that degree of separation is Justyne Caruana.
Information does not flow one way and the claim by Silvio Valletta that he has “a professional relationship with his wife” (what an odd choice of words that is) is frankly not reassuring at all.
Until the police find out more, Justyne Caruana cannot remain in cabinet. We can’t have a situation where we are governed by people who held power and authority that could have prevented the killing of a journalist or if not could have acted in a way that would have ensured justice.
Instead they acted in the opposite way. I’m sorry to throw back to Justyne Caruana an analogy she once used.
It’s not ok to look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it.