Cassola asks watchdog to investigate Judge Antonio Mizzi over middleman claims

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Independent candidate Arnold Cassola has written to the Commission for the Administration of Justice to investigate a claim made by self-confessed middleman in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Melvin Theuma.

In a sworn testimony in court, Theuma said that disgraced former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, had approached former judge Antonio Mizzi at Joseph Muscat’s behest to arrange for bail to be given to the three men accused of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Theuma was granted presidential pardon thereby immunity from prosecution in return for evidence. He had previously claimed that Mario Degiorgio brother of Alfred (il-Fulu) and George Degiorgio (iċ-Ċiniż) who have been formally charged with the murder, had once sent him to speak to the judge to put pressure on him to grant the men bail.

The Degiorgio brothers and Vince Muscat (il-Koħħu) stand formally charged with the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In court it had emerged that Kenneth Camilleri who used to work at OPM had visited Theuma with Johann Cremona. Camilleri had promised Theuma that the three men would get €1 million each and will be given bail during a sitting to be held on the 22. Theuma told the court that he had pressed Yorgen Fenech on the bail issue, with Fenech refusing to take responsibility since he was not the one who promised it. He then threatened Fenech of taking Mario Degiorgio outside Schembri’s house in Mellieħa.

Theuma had also urged Fenech to speak the people he knew as well as then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. However, the idea was shot.

The attempt was unsuccessful with the men remanded in custody. The allegation however, undermines trust in the judiciary.

In his letter to President George Vella who chairs the Commission, Professor Cassola stated that this was in breach of articles 13 and 20 of the judiciary’s Code of Ethics.

13. Members of the Judiciary shall not discuss out of Court, cases that are pending in court. In full respect of freedom of expression members of the Judiciary should discourage persons from discussing, in their presence cases that are sub judice.

20. Members of the Judiciary are obliged to pronounce in open Court all communications made to them and to inform the President of Malta of such communication as provided for in the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure.

“In view of all this, I am kindly requesting the Commission investigate the issue and take the measures which it sees fit,” Cassola said.