Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Former Police Commissioner John Rizzo and Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia testified in the public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
- “I used to see Keith Schembri at the fourth floor of the Laboru Party Headquarters, I wasn’t allowed access to this floor” – Anġlu Farrugia
- Farrugia explained that he used to see Sandro Chetcuti regularly at the Labour Party Headquarters before the 2013 elections.
- “I never backed Muscat” – Anġlu Farrugia
- “I was never one of Muscat’s favourite people” – Anġlu Farrugia
- Eks-Police Commissioner John Rizzo says that as soon as his role came into effect he kept on providing protection for assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
- “When I was Commissioner I was left to do my job in complete autonomy” – Rizzo
- “I have enough evidence to take John Dalli to Court but he was not on the islands due to medical reasons. They removed me from Commissioner on Frida and he returned to Malta on Saturday.” – Rizzo
- “They offered me a €10,000 raise when they told me they would remove me from Commissioner but I refused them. I was never one greedy for money.” – Rizzo
- “I used to investigate the smallest of allegations and reports, including what Daphne Caruana Galizia used to write in her blogg.” – Rizzo
Rizzo said that he was contacted by Muscat after the electoral victory to ask him if Daphne Caruana Galizia's house in Bidnija was under protection. Rizzo said that he confirmed that there were police officers.
Rizzo said that at the time MaltaToday had released an article saying he gave instructions to alter information released in the Dalli case to not arraign him. Rizzo said that he denied this categorically.
As regards to the Panama Papers, John Rizzo stated that the Police Force is obliged to investigate any type of report, including details published by a journalist or anonymous call.
Rizzo explained that he found Keith Schembri instead of Joseph Muscat who told him that he was needed in the civil protection. They offered him a €10,000 increase in salary but he refused because he said money isn't everything. He started working at the CPD and spent four years there and left.
He said that he would involve himself in important investigations.
He was asked if there were other important cases similar to the John Dalli case. Rizzo said that he was involved in the oil scandal investigation.
Rizzo reveals that he and the Attorney General had decided to pursue a criminal case against John Dalli, the former EU Commissioner linked to a number of corruption cases.
However, when John Dalli returned to Malta from Brussels, he was replaced by Peter Paul Zammit and was told that there was not enough evidence to continue on in the case.
He was asked how he used to decide on giving protection. He said that he used to decide alone based on what was going on.
Rizzo was asked if he ever consulted the Minister for Home Affairs. Rizzo said that it was a standard procedure.
Rizzo says that there was no political interference before the 2013 election.
He said that he continued serving as Police Commissioner up until the 13th of April 2013.
He said that during the election protection was given but he couldn't remember if it was stopped before he stepped down or afterwards.
Rizzo explained that the police would give protection to a number of other individuals. He said that protection was surely given during the 2013 electoral campaign.
He is asked to speak about the protection the Police used to give to Daphne Caruana Galizia. He said that he did not give the order for protection but rather he continued to do so because the protection was given before his term. He felt that the police should continue to give protection to Caruana Galizia. He said that there were times where a fixed point was set up, when patrols were done around her house and other times when a police was stationed in front of her house.
He was informed that he can mention the names in a confidential manner. Farrugia insisted that he was not going to mention names.
Farrugia confirmed that Franco Debono went to a debate on Joseph Muscat's orders. He said that the debate was then cancelled.
Azzopardi asked if Schembri had an official position within the party. He also asked why Schembri had access to the fourth floor but Farrugia did not.
"He had access. I never asked why I wasn't allowed," Farrugia replies.
Azzopardi said that Farrugia, who contested the 1996 elections on behalf of PL, had promoted a bill to give power to an Inquiring Magistrate to investigate corruption cases on his own initiative.
Farrugia explained that Alfred Sant was in favour of having a Super Magistrate. He said that this bill did not pass through because there were indications that there was not enough support from the Opposition MPs.
He said that a Commission was formed with three persons chairing it. He also said that when he was a Police officer he had arrested Labour Ministers and PL MPs.
As regards to the energy sector, Anġlu Farrugia said that he was the Deputy Leader of the PL between 2008 and 2012. He insisted that he was never informed about the project. He mentioned that when on Xarabank, Cacopardo asked him if the PL in Government will cut electricity bills. Farrugia said that he answered 'no' which shows that he was left in the dark.
"Muscat never asked me about what I said", Farrugia explains.
"When I came to the conclusion that I had to resign, I did so with a clear and long letter."
Farrugia insisted that as PL Deputy Leader he never accepted donations from businessmen.
During the last sitting of the public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the sons (Paul & Andrew) of the slain journalist testified followed by her sister Corinne Vella.
During the first sitting, widower Peter Caruana Galizia and his son Matthew Caruana Galizia testified before the Board of Inquiry.
Lawyers Therese Comodini Cachia and Jason Azzopardi are appearing for the family.
Highlights from last sitting:
- Corinne Vella, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s sister, tells the court that ‘she knows that Economy Minister was at the brothel because someone was willing to sign an affidavit
- False trails were planted to lead journalists astray
- Fuel smuggling narrative was pushed by Keith Schembri despite being fully aware of the details of the investigation
- Vella said that her sister’s reporting disrupted corruption plans
- She asked why a snap election was called in 2017
- Andrew Caruana Galizia told the board of inquiry that a roadblock extended his mother’s life by a few days remarking that a minimum level of protection could have prevented the murder
- Andrew Caruana Galizia testified on how state actors were involved in turning his mother into a target
- Andrew Caruana Galizia testified on how dangerous conditions prevailed during at least a year before the assassination
- Paul Caruana Galizia told the board of inquiry that during a meeting on the terms of reference and composition of the Board of Inquiry, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici had told them that if they accepted Judge Emeritus Antonio Mizzi, ‘they would make his life easier’
- Keith Schembri’s missing phone data could be cloned in the same way his mother’s phone was cloned, Paul Caruana Galizia told the court
- Daphne Caruana Galizia’s son also told the board of inquiry that the Executive not only did not prevent the murder, but could have caused it