Karl Cini thinks he’s made. He knows all the five rules. He is obedient and loyal, that’s one and two. He’s a stand-up guy so he’s got honour in the bag. And he’ll be damned if he’s not proud of his work.
Rule number five for the wise-guy is silence. It’s the sacred oath of omertà. You don’t discuss the family business outside the family. You never deal with the authorities. You never inform. You’re never a rat or you’re a dead rat. There’s no price too high for keeping the family’s secrets. For you know if you try to save your neck or avoid prison, your punishment is death. There’s no pass, no exemption, no excuse. You talk. You die.
This is no New Jersey parody about leaving the gun and taking the cannoli or about slicing garlic with a shaving blade or about getting thrown out of the club for adding cheese to your linguine vongole.
That man is not afraid of going to prison for admitting his role in a criminal conspiracy. Karl Cini is afraid of what would happen to him if he managed to avoid prison. His lawyer can scream about his client’s presumption of innocence until he’s blue in the face. Karl Cini is guilty as fuck.
And you must remember where you’ve first heard Karl Cini’s name. It was when you first heard of an email exchange he had had with his counterparts in Panama in 2013 setting up a secret company in Konrad Mizzi’s name, a secret company in Keith Schembri’s name, and a secret company in the name of someone secret.
Remember Karl Cini, in the opinion of the magistrate conducting it, lied to an inquiry into whether that third company belonged to Joseph Muscat.
You then heard Karl Cini’s name from the exposure of subsequent email correspondence with his counterpart in Panama informing that Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi’s Panama companies were to receive money from companies held by people we would later learn were Cheng Chen’s mother-in-law and Yorgen Fenech.
We would find out that Karl Cini’s correspondence amounted to evidence of a corrupt conspiracy, bribery paid or promised for a public contract. It’s a crime that has not yet been prosecuted in spite of mountains of evidence. But even the police and the attorney general could not avoid starting the prosecution of the Electrogas scandal if Karl Cini broke his silence.
Karl Cini knows what his clients are capable of doing to anyone who brings their crimes to light. When Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed so spectacularly, the terror her killers inflicted was not just a warning to journalists. It was a warning to people in the know on the inside of the conspiracy. Karl Cini watched. He learned.
Karl Cini’s obdurate silence leads to the reasonable inference that he’s guilty as fuck. It also leads to the reasonable inference that the people he is afraid of, the wise guys and made men he worked for, are also guilty as fuck.