It is no exaggeration to say that the most important cases pending in court at this time, by many miles, are those relating to the brutal assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. So much so that it doesn’t really need saying, except for the fact that it does.
Follow my thinking here.
The trigger-men, one of whom has now been convicted and given a discount on his sentence (and a pardon in respect of another serious crime) were arrested quite soon after the murder and while they remain presumed innocent (except for the one who has been convicted) the evidence against them is, to put it mildly, pretty compelling. Their recent proposal to the President that they spill their guts in connection with the assassination and other cases doesn’t much help their presumption of innocence, either, from where I’m sitting.
The fog of war, already quite thick and confusing, is becoming even more opaque.
Rumours and innuendos compete with sworn testimony and Facebook denials to point fingers at this and that ex- and/or current minister(s) for this and/or that crimes, this being the assassination and that being the HSBC heist and – suddenly – some other serious crimes too.
If the Degiorgios are given a discount or any other form of deal in consideration of their spilling their guts, the confusion will be become worse confounded. Their information will impact on the other case, that of Yorgen Fenech, which currently relies to a strong extent on the testimony of (pardoned) Melvyn Theuma, which itself has provoked, by the involvement of Keith Schembri in the mix, a reaction that itself involves an ex-minister.
Let’s not beat about the bush, it’s Chris Cardona that is being lit up, by whom and why being pretty obvious. If Cardona is guilty, then fine, let him “swing” for it, if he’s not, an attempt to frame him would be nothing less than a cynical ploy, designed at removing one alleged criminal from the picture at the expense of another alleged criminal.
If you think that “alleged criminal” is too harsh a description of Keith Schembri and Chris Cardona then, my dears, you haven’t been following the media.
When you add to the general confusion the courtroom strategies and tactics his lawyers will use, it becomes a clear and present danger that the concept of “beyond reasonable doubt” will operate in favour of Yorgen Fenech to get him off the hook. Again, if he really is innocent, well, all well and good, that’s how the law is supposed to operate. Note the qualifier “if” and remember that Fenech has also made the “I can spill my guts if you’re nice to me” sort of proposal in the past.
In the meantime, the real media and its evil sister, social media, have come alight with theories about how Carmelo Abela and Chris Cardona and David Gatt and whoever might or might not be involved with the HSBC heist, any other crime, the price of eggs and, for all I know, the assassination of John Kennedy and the kidnap of the Lindbergh baby.
The previous paragraph might seem facetious and lacking of respect for the seriousness of the crime we should be concentrating on, the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Actually, it is not. My point is that everything pales into insignificance when compared to the assassination.
Obviously, the HSBC job and all other serious crimes have to be investigated and whoever was involved has to face justice.
Obviously, political capital can, and will be made about the allegations flying about, especially as not many of them are surprising to many.
Equally obviously, however, is that the bottom line, as Jason Azzopardi made ultra clear in the House on Tuesday, is that nothing and no-one and no deal with anyone can be allowed to interfere with justice being done for Daphne and her family. The temptation to accommodate the Degiorgios and to divert attention from the only relevant case to other cases and create confusion at the same time must be eschewed and a firm no be dealt out to any idea of compromise with Daphne’s killers.
Keep your eyes on the ball, everyone who matters.