George and Alfred Degiorgio have filed a judicial protest against the prime minister who publicly labeled them as “criminals,” breaching their presumption of innocence, they claim.

The brothers, accused of planting the bomb that killed journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, have requested a pardon for their information on the murder and other serious crimes.

Last week, Prime Minister Robert Abela said he was bewildered that those accused of assassinating the journalist were being given credibility, and described them as criminals trying to buy their freedom. 

In their judicial protest, the brothers said Abela was 'condemning' them and absolving Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Carmelo Abela from blame. 

Last week Minister Abela was questioned by police after Alfred Degiorgio mentioned his name to the police in connection with the failed 2010 HSBC heist. 

'Direct, credible information'

The brothers said they were approached by an investigating officer for information about the 2010 HSBC botched heist. 

Alfred claimed to have “direct, clear and credible” information that could possibly lead to the prosecution of third parties. 

They wished that their pending pardon request be considered before such evidence was supplied to investigators and insisted on speaking to the police commissioner. 

The PM's description of them as "criminals" involved in “organized crime" violated their presumption of innocence, making it useless for them to face trial once “he declared them guilty and criminals.”

Citing the PM’s public statement, the Degiorgios rebutted allegations that they were trying to “buy” a Presidential pardon.

Labour party and pardons

Moreover, they were not trying to benefit some political party, the Degiorgios said rebutting the PM’s allegation, that they were "in cahoots" with the Nationalist Party. 

Using that same argument, since the PM and his cabinet recommended pardons for Melvin Theuma and Vincent Muscat, does that mean that there was “coordination and synergy between those and the Labour Party?”

They PM cannot usurp the functions of the police commissioner, the Degiorgios protested, pointing out that by his speech, based on unfounded facts, he had condemned them and absolved Minister Abela of all guilt. 

They just wanted their pardon request to be handled in the same way as those of others, “nothing more, nothing less.” 

Lawyer William Cuschieri signed the judicial protest. 

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