Degiorgio brothers reach out to Chris Cardona

Cardona denies, sources confirm

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Newsbook.com.mt can confirm that brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio sent a message to Labour Party deputy leader Chris Cardona in recent weeks. The brothers are accused of carrying out the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Though the exact content of the message cannot be confirmed by the newsroom as yet, sources did confirm that it concerns the investigations into the Caruana Galizia case. To Newsbook.com.mt‘s outreach, Cardona denied this communication happened but our sources re-confirmed the story.

Theuma had testified that the Degiorgios would send messages to Yorgen Fenech asking for money. The sources did not rule out that the brothers were trying to make similar requests to Cardona. Yorgen Fenech stands accused of being the mastermind behind the assassination.

Both brothers have been in prison since their arrest on December 2017, with multiple requests for bail being turned down.

Past contacts reported

This message is just the latest in a series of known exchanges between the Degiorgio brothers and Cardona.

The Daphne Project, an investigative journalism project led by Paris-based NGO Forbidden Stories to follow up Caruana Galizia’s stories, had reported other contacts. It had said that Cardona met Alfred Degiorgio at the Ferdinand Bar in Siġġiewi. According to Daphne Project, this meeting happened shortly before the Marsa raid that led to the Degiorgios’ arrest.

Back then Cardona denied the claims, though he did not exclude that he may have been at the bar when Degiorgio was there.

The transcripts of the Degiorgios’ interrogation clearly highlight the police’s suspicions that the brothers had received advance warning of the raid.

Was Cardona’s number on the burner phone?

Melvin Theuma, the alleged middleman in the murder who was granted a presidential pardon to turn state’s evidence, had revealed that Cardona’s was the only number on a burner phone found dumped in the sea next to the potato shed. A number of such phones had been found on the seabed when the Degiorgios and fellow murder suspect Vince Muscat were arrested.  The arrests had taken place at the shed owned by the Degiorgio brothers, where they had met with other shady characters.

Cardona had told Newsbook.com.mt that the police never asked him about the mobile phone.

But The Malta Independent on Sunday, quoting sources, stated that Cardona’s number was not found in any of the burner phones found on the seabed near the shed during the raid.

Keith Schembri had also allegedly sent a letter to Yorgen Fenech in which the assassination was to be blamed on Cardona. A transcript of the letter was published on LovinMalta. Schembri has denied writing the letter.

Cardona has strongly denied any involvement, telling TVM last month that the letter was a frame-up attempt.

The former minister had been questioned by the police on 23 November, as Newsbook.com.mt had revealed, and released after questioning. A week later, he asked for parliamentary protection over the frame-up concerns. Speaker Anġlu Farrugia replied that he could only act on matters which took place in Parliament.