Updated: PN leader reacts
Pre-empting cabinet, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he will be recommending that the suspect currently in police custody be given a presidential pardon if he gives all the information he has on the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. ” This is a decision I have taken myself and will not be decided or discussed in cabinet.” said Muscat. He added that he has been delegated by cabinet to take these decisions and the responsibility will be shouldered by himself alone. “The conclusion is not a matter of months away but it is not a matter of days either” said the Prime Minister.
The move came after a leak to the Times of Malta and later corroborated to Newsbook.com.mt that the police were holding in custody a man suspected of being a “middleman” in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination. The man, whom sources have described as “a taxi driver with ties to illicit gambling”, was arrested on Thursday during a raid that targeted a money laundering ring that he forms part of.The middleman is believed to have linked the person suspected of commissioning the murder of the journalist to the men who carried out the murder.
Prime Minister Muscat’s comments to a select press indicated that he had signed a letter committing himself to recommend a presidential pardon if the suspects collaborates with the police. Muscat said that the police had carried out a joint operation with Interpol agains money laundering. When arrested, the man had indicated that he might have evidence to corroborate other evidence that had emerged in the Caruana Galizia case.
Muscat said that the presidential pardon will be conditional on the information being proved at law. He appealed to the media for caution as the case is not closed yet. “I will leave no stone unturned” said Muscat “but we need to be careful as words spoken without consideration may lead the case to be derailed”.
Use proper procedure – Delia reacts
PN leader and leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia has advised the use of all means and procedures at the state’s disposal to enable the capture of the mastermind behind the Caruana Galizia assassination. Delia said that even ‘exceptional procedures need to be considered at this stage. Reacting to the PM’s declaration, Delia thanked the members of the judiciary and supported their courage in such difficult cases so that justice can be served. He also thanked the media and the family of the murdered journalist for staking their lives in the search for truth.