One of the three suspect murderers of Daphne Caruana Galizia is asking President George Vella to grant him the prerogative of mercy in exchange for all information “on various facts.”
Alongside brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, Vincent Muscat is currently awaiting trial over his alleged involvement in the car bomb explosion that killed the journalist on October 16, 2017.
In his letter to the President, Mr Muscat’s lawyer Marc Sant, explained that back in April 2018, the suspect murderer had met with and spoken to chief prosecuting officer Keith Arnaud, providing information “that is turning out to be crucial for substantial progress being made towards solving this case.”
Such information had helped investigators to zoom in on the suspect middleman, Melvin Theuma, who was recently granted a presidential pardon to spill the beans on the assassination.
That pardon is being challenged by the other two suspect murderers, the Degiorgio brothers, whose lawyer William Cuschieri, filed a judicial protest on Monday calling for the pardon to be revoked within 24 hours and threatening further legal action.
“The irony in this is that this same person that Vincent Muscat mentioned to the investigators is now being brought by the prosecution to give evidence against Vincent Muscat himself,” read the letter.
In view of recent revelations linked to the murder probe, Mr Muscat was “deeply concerned that his first request to be granted the prerogative of mercy might not have been handled in the proper, correct and just manner.”
“This concern results from the possibility that a person or persons having a possible direct or indirect interest in diverting or delaying these investigations was being updated on the investigations and also on the request for mercy made by Vincent Muscat.”
He quoted former European Court of Human Rights judge Giovanni Bonello, who declared that, “If the immunity from prosecution is being recommended by somebody close to the person suspected of or charged with being a criminal wrongdoer, it starts not to make sense. The Constitution never envisaged such possibility”.
Although not implying that the Prime Minister was under “undue pressure or interference” when recommending Mr Theuma’s pardon, the situation “seems to be far from ideal or proper.”
Whilst the Prime Minister had taken that decision single-handedly, the whole Cabinet had been convened to discuss Mr Fenech’s request for a Presidential pardon.
“The extremely contrasting approach taken vis-à-vis the requests made by Melvin Theuma and Yorgen Fenech does not provide Vincent Muscat with the required serenity, peace of mind and trust in the modus operandi adopted.”
In the light of all this, Mr Muscat asked that his second request for a pardon be “evaluated in an objective and impartial manner” without any possible “intervention or influence” and free of “any political and/or personal considerations.”
“Therefore, Vincent Muscat is humbly requesting Your Excellency to exercise and extend the powers granted to you under the Constitution of Malta in this particular case.”