Daphne Assassination: masterminds still at large 7 months after allegedly being identified

Arkivji/Ian Noel Pace

Seven months after police sources told The Sunday Times of Malta that they had identified the masterminds responsible for the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, it turns out that they are still at large.

While seven months ago police sources said that they had identified the masterminds, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Carmelo Abela told journalists from the Gulf that the investigators are currently still focusing on the motive behind the murder and are still trying to understand whether the three accused of the murder acted alone or if there was another person involved. The Minister’s comments were reported by Khaleej Times, a Dubai newsletter that’s published in English.

When Newsbook.com.mt asked the Police about developments seven months after the claim of identification was made, we received the stock answer that it is not prudent to give information while investigations are ongoing.

Reuters contradicted the sources

In November of 2108, The Sunday Times of Malta reported that police sources informed it that the investigators had identified a group of more than two Maltese persons whom they believed had masterminded the assassination of the Maltese journalist. The same sources said that the investigation was in a very advanced stage.

The information given by these ‘police sources’ was contradicted by  Reuters correspondent Stephen Grey. He said that according to his sources, it was not true that the masterminds responsible for the assassination were identified.

Police focusing on motive and possible mastermind – Minister

According to the Khaleej Times, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Carmelo Abela said that the authorities have sufficient evidence against the three accused in Court. Abela added that the investigations are currently focusing on the motive behind the murder.

“The investigators are trying to figure out whether they acted on their own or someone else was behind them,” said Abela.

Abela described as unfair the harsh criticism levelled against the Maltese government by many international organisation. He seemed to explain away this criticism because according to him “our system is at times very difficult for mainland Europeans to understand because it is based on the Anglo-Saxon model.”

Family demands an independent inquiry

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed when a car bomb was set off next to her home on the 16th of October, 2017. In December of that year the Malta police who had been helped by the FBI and Europol arrested  10 people; three of whom are accused of murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In 2019, Daphne’s family’s lawyers presented a Court letter insisting that the State should take the necessary steps so that a public inquiry to investigate whether the state did everything possible to solve the case.

The call for an independent public inquiry has been echoed by many international organisations.

In his meeting with Gulf journalists Minister Abela repeated the government claim that the simultaneous holding of a public inquiry and a criminal probe was not a good idea and that the Attorney General is of the same opinion.

Read more about this story:

Press PM for Daphne inquiry tomorrow – Joint press advocacy letter to EU leaders

Europe experiencing, ‘crime and corruption emergency’ – Daphne’s family

“We can transform the world, fight injustice” – Whistleblower tells anti-corruption activists