Fuel trader Gordon Debono wants the police to identify the OPM source who started a rumour linking Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder to fuel smuggling.

Debono, who alongside his wife Yvette, was targeted by an arrest warrant in 2020 in a crackdown on fuel smuggling, has been caught up in court proceedings ever since.

He is pleading not guilty to alleged money laundering.

The couple spent time in preventive custody following their arraignment in November 2020 until they were released on bail in December of that year.

Both stand accused of allegedly laundering millions of euros.

Was arrest premeditated, Debono is asking

Debono is now airing “serious doubts” over whether his arrest was “premeditated” and orchestrated by people with “present and past political connections”, as well as officers within the corps to obstruct the course of justice. 

Two years since the arrests, with the money laundering proceedings at a very advanced stage, the case stands adjourned sine die while waiting for the outcome of rogatory letters sent to foreign jurisdictions.

All this has caused Debono personal damages and harm “for no reason,” claimed the trader in his formal complaint (kwerela) addressed to Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa’.

The three judges presiding over the public inquiry into the assassination of Caruana Galizia had made reference to a rumour “circulated from the Office of the Prime Minister” that the perpetrators behind the murder could have been connected to fuel smuggling

Debono cited a particular passage from the conclusions of the inquiry to support his argument in this regard. That rumour, emerging from Castille, was picked up even by international media, he added.

Although the reference to “people connected to fuel smuggling” was much contested, it could not be denied that such reference was directed at Debono himself and another person, he added.

'Angelo Gafa’, investigate whoever was behind rumour'

Now, Debono was calling on the police chief to “urgently” investigate whoever was behind such a rumour.

It was now obviously “crystal clear” that such rumour was intended solely to “exonerate or keep under wraps the people who were truly responsible or those with an interest in this case,” claimed Debono, adding that the names of some of those persons were in the public domain.

Such an urgent investigation was necessary so that justice is not only done but is also seen to be done, stressed Debono, before signing off his complaint.

Lawyer Roberto Montalto is assisting Debono. 

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