Cardona asked to step down as PL deputy leader – report

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Partit Laburista leader Robert Abela has asked Deputy Leader Chris Cardona to resign from his post in the wake of the new details which emerged relating to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia during criminal proceedings that took place on Monday.

Abela was speaking to local newspaper MaltaToday following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Cardona whose name was mentioned multiple times during criminal proceedings in connection to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, was not appointed as minister when Robert Abela became Prime Minister. He subsequently resigned from Parliament in April.

Abela told the local newspaper that upon his appointment in January, he had not assigned a ministry to Cardona and therefore the former Economy Minister was never part of the government led by Abela.

Prime Minister Abela said that he had communicated his wish to Cardona that he would no longer remain Deputy Leader for Party Affairs. Abela said that Cardona is set to resign. Partit Laburista will then kick off a deputy leader contest.

During the criminal proceedings against murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, who stands being accused of being an accomplice in the murder, a witness testified under oath that Melvin Theuma had told him, that he [Theuma] had been ordered to murder Caruana Galizia by former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Fenech. Furthermore, Cremona testified that Theuma would always tell him the same story and the same details, and would mention Fenech, Schembri, Cardona and David Gatt.

During Monday’s sitting, Cremona, Fenech’s business partner, told the court that he had received a photo of a certain “il-Biglee” over Signal. He explained that he did not know who he was but Fenech had told him [Cremona] that il-Biglee was the middleman between Cardona and Alfred Degiorgio (il-Fulu).

The former Economy Minister is alleged to have paid for Caruana Galizia’s murder, using his canvasser “il-Biglee” as his middleman with Alfred Degiorgio, one of the three suspected hitmen.

Cardona has denied the claims made under oath dismissing them as “nonsense”.

Prior to Fenech’s arraignment, Cardona was hauled in the Police Headquarters for questioning in November 2019. The former Economy Minister has denied claims that he was connected to the murder.

This newsroom tried reaching Chris Cardona for a comment.