Police's reluctance to press ahead in cases of suspected corruption concerning top political figures was informed by legal advice provided by the attorney general, former police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar testified on Friday.

Cutajar insisted investigators needed evidence before pressing charges and noted that he always encouraged investigators to seek the attorney general’s legal advice when it came to sensitive cases.

Reading from notes, Cutajar said attorney general Peter Grech's advice was “exercise great caution” when investigating money laundering allegations concerning then-minister Konrad Mizzi.

The attorney general had advised that a probe “is highly intrusive... exercise caution and demand a high level of reasonable suspicion,” Cutajar read. 

Cutajar’s testimony reflects revelations, published in June, that the attorney general had in May 2016 told police that seizing Nexia BT servers would be a “drastic” move and could prove “counterproductive”.

The attorney general subsequently defended that legal advice, saying any “reasonable and responsible lawyer" would have advised similarly. 

Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.

'Nothing has changed'

During a feisty three-hour testimony, Cutajar consistently defended his work during his time as police commissioner and repeatedly sought to clarify “false impressions” about himself and the police force he led for three-and-a-half years.

“I never protected anyone,” Cutajar exclaimed at one point. “I’ve been out of the corps eight months now. Yet investigations are still ongoing, as they were before. Nothing has changed.  

“People believe that unless there are arrests, nothing is being done,” he said, insisting that investigations into various corruption allegations were still under way.

No help from foreign countries

Cutajar insisted that his job as commissioner was to “offer support” to investigators and that he had trusted them to carry out their work diligently.

Economic Crimes Unit chief Ian Abdilla was responsible for an investigation into secret company 17 Black, Cutajar said, while he left advice concerning a pardon for murder middleman Melvin Theuma to investigators Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra.

He told the board of inquiry that police investigators had contacted several foreign jurisdictions to seek information related to corruption allegations, but had always found scant cooperation.

“Even a local bank – I believe it was BOV – refused to cooperate,” he said.

Cutajar 'skimmed through' FIAU reports

Cutajar told the inquiry that police had received three separate FIAU reports concerning money laundering suspicions involving Mizzi and Schembri. 

The first report, which Cutajar described as “flimsy”,  concerned Keith Schembri and Brian Tonna and was dated April 2016.

The second concerned Schembri and former Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman and was dated November 2016.

The third concerned Schembri and Mizzi. Cutajar said he did not have a date for that.

He admitted to not having read the reports thoroughly, telling the court that he had “skimmed through them”.

The FIAU never gave the police a "holistic report" into the Panama Papers scandal, Cutajar said. That prompted lawyer Therese Comodini Cachia to ask the witness "so you conducted no holistic investigation yourselves?".  

Answering questions, Cutajar said that he believed police had eventually seized Nexia BT servers and that investigators had spoken to the company’s director Karl Cini in 2018.

He admitted that nobody had been arraigned in connection with the Panama Papers.

Cutajar and Muscat 'never discussed Panama Papers'

Cutajar also said he and the prime minister at the time, Joseph Muscat, had never discussed the Panama Papers scandal.

Cutajar was appointed commissioner mere months after the massive data leak revealed that then-minister Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri had set up secret offshore structures.

But despite furore about the revelations, Cutajar said he and Muscat never discussed them.

“My contact with the prime minister was mainly about irregular migration,” Cutajar testified.

Yorgen Fenech's corruption claims

Cutajar confirmed that Yorgen Fenech, the businessman accused of complicity in the Caruana Galizia assassination, had told police interrogators that he had information about corruption cases involving Schembri, Nexia BT and secret company Macbridge. 

He told the inquiry that investigators had taken note of his claims but focused on the murder case against Fenech, due to legal time constraints. 

Times of Malta had first reported on Fenech's allegations in June.

Cutajar also told the inquiry that Schembri was never mentioned as a person of interest in the murder case. 

Protection for Daphne Caruana Galizia

The former police chief also faced questions about police protection for Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Referring to his notes, he told the inquiry that police had withdrawn fixed protection from the journalist’s house in 2010 and that he had not altered those instructions.

Caruana Galizia had never told police she felt threatened, he said, and it was the responsibility of the Malta Security Services, not police, to assess risk in high-profile cases.

“How can you assign a fixed point without her consent? If she felt threatened, why didn’t she speak to the police?” Cutajar asked.

Police protection was assigned to the family one day after she was assassinated, he said, following a request by her husband Peter.


As it happened

Next session to be held next Wednesday

12.20pm That's all from court for today - the rest of the session will take place behind closed doors. The next hearing will take place next Wednesday, August 28. 

Alan Said and William Wait are scheduled to testify on that date. 

Thank you for joining us during this live blog. Check back shortly for a summary of key points from Cutajar's testimony.


Had police investigated claims against Central Bank official?

12.17pm Muscat is asked about a story Caruana Galizia had written concerning a former deputy Central Bank governor [Alfred Mifsud]. Had the police investigated? 

Muscat: “I don’t recall that question in my previous testimony. I believe the ECU had conducted an investigation at the time. I was an inspector back then. It was probably handled by Raymond Aquilina or myself. It was us two in the anti-money laundering unit”.

That's all from Muscat - the briefest of testimonies.


Antonovich Muscat testifies 

12.13pm Antonovich Muscat will now testify. Muscat is a superintendent within the police’s economic crimes unit.

Cutajar ends his testimony

12.12pm That’s the last question Cutajar will face today. He is told he can step off the witness stand. 

The inquiry may call the former commissioner back, though, to appear on September 2. 

Before he leaves, Cutajar tells the board of inquiry that he would happily return to answer any further questions. 

Lawrence Cutajar enters the Valletta law courts on Friday. Photo: Chris Sant FournierLawrence Cutajar enters the Valletta law courts on Friday. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Girgenti party 

12.10pm  Azzopardi asks about a party held at Girgenti [to celebrate Joseph Muscat’s birthday, and during which Yorgen Fenech gifted Muscat Petrus wine costing thousands of euro].

Cutajar: “I wasn’t there”

Azzopardi: “The prime minister said that the MSS had advised him to invite Yorgen Fenech to avoid raising suspicion”. 

Cutajar: “I wasn’t involved in that. I cannot exclude that others were.” 

Theuma's pardon request and terms


Azzopardi asks about Melvin Theuma’s pardon. He says Yorgen Fenech received terms of the pardon via WhatsApp from Keith Schembri. How did Schembri have them? 

Cutajar says that the pardon conditions were drafted by the attorney general and that he played no role in them. 

“I didn’t even get involved in the report assessing the pardon request. I’m not the president of Malta! I left the matter with the investigators, who know the case better. 

“Saying I got money in exchange for the pardon is another wrong perception that’s out there! Let me get this off my chest, please!

Azzopardi asks about the reward offered by the prime minister for anyone with information that could help solve the murder.  Was that updated?

“On our website!” Cutajar says. 

Fenech's claims about corruption

12.04pm Questioning turns to Yorgen Fenech’s statements to the police. 

“Had Fenech refer to specific cases of corruption?”

 Cutajar nods. 

“Did those include Keith Schembri, Macbridge, Nexia BT and so on?” 


Azzopardi asks why the economic crimes unit was not brought in to hear what Fenech had to say, adding that Fenech has not provided any information about these cases to date.

[Times of Malta revealed in June that Fenech told investigators he wanted to give evidence about other corruption cases, but clammed up after murder charges were filed against him] 

Cutajar: “Investigators took note [of Fenech’s claims]. But they were facing time constraints. We could hold back the murder investigation. That was the priority at the time. 

What was 'plan B?'

11.59am If we went [after Theuma] for money laundering and did not find the recordings, we could still press charges regarding money laundering. He would face an 18-year jail term. No big deal [Ma ġara xejn].

“But we achieved our objective! We found the recordings. Otherwise we’d have found ourselves with our backs to the wall.”

Cutajar's 'plan B'

11.57am Jason Azzopardi takes over questioning. He asks when Cutajar got to know of Silvio Valletta’s friendship with Yorgen Fenech.

“He had already left [the force],” Cutajar replies. “Not during my tenure”. 
Azzopardi asks Cutajar if he and the attorney general disagreed on Melvin Theuma’s arrest in November 2019. 

Cutajar: “Three men were arraigned, and phone calls revealed that third parties were involved. One particular call hinted at recordings. 

“We always worked around a table. What to do? Go for the recordings, hoping we would get lucky? Or take a parallel course?

“I opted for a plan B. I got some nasty looks! Not everyone agreed with me. But the evidence was in police hands. If someone told him [Theuma] that he was being investigated by the FIAU, what was going to change? Nothing.”


Cutajar dismisses 'newspaper report' about 17 Black

11.52am Comodini Cachia asks Cutajar whether the police sent for Yorgen Fenech after Times of Malta had revealed that he was the owner of 17 Black. 

“You got the news cutting from the CMRU,” she tells him.

Cutajar brushes aside the suggestion.

“On the basis of a newspaper story!” he says. 

“Investigations continued, just like investigations continued in these last eight months after I left. But people believe that unless there are arrests, nothing is being done.”

'No one has gone through what I have' 

11.47am Said Pullicino says that it is worrying that no steps were taken if there was evidence of money passing to certain accounts before Caruana Galizia was murdered.

Cutajar: "At the end of the day, it’s investigators who gather evidence. When I was an inspector for 35 years, I never went to the commissioner to arraign someone in court. We’re old and wise now. And no one has gone through what I’ve been through!

"Unfortunately, that was the false impression put out there. That things were not done under my watch."

March 2018 report on 17 Black 

11.43am Cutajar says Ian Abdilla received a report concerning 17 Black on March 27, 2018. 

“I was told that they immediately did everything possible to make sure that all evidence was gathered, including from banks,” he adds.

"There were problems with the UAE. A police delegation was due to go there but the meeting was put off. I think they ended up going later. But until my time there, we still had that Dubai problem." 

[Ian Abdilla had testified about that cancelled Dubai meeting in July. Read his testimony.] 

"We even asked Europol for help," Cutajar says. "Investigations are still ongoing so I cannot confirm links between Yorgen Fenech and 17 Black". 

Keith Schembri 'was never a person of interest' 

11.40am “Keith Schembri was never a person of interest in the investigations. He was never mentioned by the MSS or anything,” Cutajar says.
“But he was mentioned in the Panama Papers,” the board says. 

“We cannot say that the Panama Papers and assassination are linked,” Cutajar replies. 

“Was Keith Schembri’s office searched?” 

“Yes, later”. 

“Did you send for Keith Schembri or Konrad Mizzi?” 

“No, I don’t think so”. 

“What about Brian Tonna or Karl Cini?”

“Karl Cini, yes”. 

“When did you get to know that Yorgen Fenech was involved in the assassination?” 

“When the [Theuma] recordings came to light. But I’d rather testify about this behind closed doors. I don’t want to prejudice the case”.

On meetings concerning the murder investigation

11.35am Judge Mallia asks about the police investigation into the Caruana Galizia murder. 

Cutajar: "When I spoke to investigators, mainly Valletta, about the Degiorgio brothers, I was always told that we were following forensic evidence. 

“Two days before the arrests, Valletta had come to me and told me about the upcoming arrests. I told him, ‘Sil, it’s important we have the evidence to arraign.’. He assured me that we did.” 

Cutajar says that briefings were only attended by Keith Arnaud and Silvio Valletta, as the case’s main investigators. 

“I only went to meetings at Castille concerning the pardon [for Melvin Theuma],” he says. 

He says those meetings were attended by the prime minister, chief of staff and attorney general. Owen Bonnici [who at the time was Justice Minister] was also present for one meeting which Cutajar attended. 

Cutajar's proposal to assign fixed point protection 

11.30am Comodini Cachia says there ought to be safeguards to ensure all people who need protection, get it. 

Cutajar says he agrees, adding that one has to keep limited police resources in mind. 

“We now assigned fixed points as overtime duty, to avoid clashes,” he says. 
Cutajar suggests a revised system:

“There ought to be a board between the MSS and AFM [Armed Forces of Malta] to evaluate risks and allocate fixed points according to the resources available. Otherwise we’d have people asking “why him and not me” when it comes to protection”.

MSS, not police, assess risk 

11.22am Cutajar reiterates that the procedure is for anyone sensing danger to speak to the police. 

“The police do not conduct risk assessments. It’s the MSS [Malta Security Services] who assess risk in high-profile cases,” Cutajar says. 

Cutajar tells the inquiry that one journalist had requested police protection during his time as commissioner, “and he got it”. 

'What was holding her back from contacting us?'

11.20am Comodini Cachia asks whether the things Caruana Galizia wrote about in her blog were not enough for police to sense that she might be at risk. 

“What was holding her back from contacting us?” Cutajar asks. 

“What was holding you back,” Comodini Cachia answers back.  

Daphne never requested police protection

11.16am Said Pullicino: “In 2010 there were no Panama Papers. She made allegations against powerful figures in the country – not just politicians but also businessmen. Wasn’t there the need to upgrade her protection?”

Cutajar replies: “How can you assign a fixed point without her consent? If she felt threatened, why didn’t she speak to the police? That’s the standard procedure when one senses danger! If she did not have a good relationship with me, she could have spoken to other officers.”

He says that the day after the Caruana Galizia murder, Daphne's husband Peter had contacted him and expressed concern about his family's safety. 

"I immediately assigned two officers to them, who I think are still there today. His request was justified." 

Police protection for Daphne 

11.14am Questions turn to the police protection given to Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

Cutajar says that according to a police file, she was given police protection for two days in March 2013 during the general election, in June 2017 during the election and for just under a month between September and October 2010. 

Fixed point protection was removed from the Caruana Galizia residence on October 3, 2010, according to the file. 

“No explanation was given for the shift from fixed point protection to frequent patrol,” he says. 

“I’m basing myself on records. I cannot say whether an officer spoke to her. I can only confirm what’s in the file. And I did not change anything from the instructions issued in 2010”. 

'Police do not solve crimes at their desks' 

11.10am The judges ask about police officers who speak to people linked to criminals.

“Police do not solve crimes by sitting at their desks,” Cutajar says. “They also have to mingle with people like that”. 

The judges make reference to the alleged Caruana Galizia hitmen having been tipped off about their arrest. “Someone could have been killed!” they tell the witness.

Cutajar: “If that was so, it was wrong. At least what had to be found was found and nothing went wrong”.

Why was public not kept informed? 

11.04am  Said Pullicino notes that the public were kept in the dark about the entire case. There were no crime conferences or updates.

Cutajar says that he always feared letting something slip [kelma żejda] that could compromise investigations during such conferences. 

“Those who came after me might have a different way of doing things. But that was my way,” he says, before rattling off a list of things he achieved as commissioner. 

“Police had better conditions at district level, new cars and so on. But no one mentions that. I’m the ‘disgraced commissioner’.” 

Nobody arraigned

11am  Cutajar tells the board that he is informed that up to this year, the police “never received a full report on the Panama Papers from the FIAU”. 

That prompts Comodini Cachia to ask him whether the police carried out their own holistic investigation. 

“There were investigations into some people,” he replies.

“Were any of them arraigned?”

“I don’t think so”.  

Local bank refused to cooperate with police 

10.56am Cutajar says that a local bank – “I believe it was BOV” – also refused to provide information to the police.

He is asked whether he himself read the FIAU reports.

"Not fully, but I skimmed through them," he says. 

Cutajar and Muscat never discussed Panama Papers

10.54am  Cutajar says that he was not in regular contact with the prime minister, contrary to popular perception.

“My contact with the prime minister was mainly about irregular migration, not this,” he says. “I never spoke to him about the Panama Papers. But I don’t know if my subordinates did.” 

A scolding from the bench


The judges are not too impressed with Cutajar’s work. 

Lofaro: “Out there there was a whole outcry. Sky News, BBC, CNN were all talking about the Panama Papers. Not you.” 

Mallia: “So you were chasing information from all four corners of the world, and yet you ignored the evidence right under your nose”. 

Cutajar goes on the defensive. 

“How could I not have faith in my officers like [Silvio] Valletta? Three persons were arraigned in connection with the crime [the Caruana Galizia murder]." 

Lofaro: "But it hasn't been solved yet!"

Cutajar: "I was always told that our questions to Dubai went unanswered, though recently I heard otherwise. My role was to provide support. That's the commissioner's role."


'My attitude was to hold back' 

10.46am  Cutajar is asked whether he spoke to the Home Affairs Minister.

“I don’t think so,” he says. “I did sometimes talk to the minister, but my attitude was to hold back”. 

“Didn’t they send for you? Didn’t you ever feel the need to alert the prime minister, to open his eyes?”

Cutajar: “Who, me?!”

Judge Mallia asks whether the police had again sought the attorney general’s advice following the second FIAU report. 

“I don’t know,” Cutajar says. “But it’s always important to first gather evidence and then send for people [to be questioned]”.

Taking time

10.43am  Cutajar tells the court that “it’s easy to speak here, but I can assure you that action was taken and an inquiry in ongoing”. 

That reply appears to irritate Judge Lofaro.

“There was a furore worldwide! What did you do? A magisterial inquiry does not exonerate the police from investigating!” 

Cutajar: “I believe [Nexia BT’s] Karl Cini was spoken to in 2018”. 

Lofaro: “That’s two years after the Panama Papers!”

Were Nexia BT servers seized? 

10.40am  Comodini Cachia asks why police did not collect data from Nexia BT, after all the FIAU reports and information from multiple sources abroad. 

Cutajar says the attorney general could only provide advice concerned data the police had on hand. 

Judge Mallia interjects. “But were you considering seizing Nexia BT servers?” 

Comodini Cachia: “The AG’s advice was linked to that issue. Based on that so called [first] “flimsy” [FIAU] report.  Did you seize that data from Nexia BT?”
“I believe they [the servers] were collected,” he says. 

Nexia BT director Brian Tonna.Nexia BT director Brian Tonna.

Who nominated Valletta to the FIAU board?

10.35am  Lawyer Therese Comodini Cachia takes up questioning of the witness. 

Cutajar tells her that he had nothing to do with economic crimes until he became acting commissioner. 

Comodini Cachia asks who headed the police’s fraud unit. 

“There was superintendent Abdilla and Valletta, who was assistant commissioner. Later, Abdilla rose to assistant commissioner and Valletta became deputy commissioner”. 

Comodini Cachia asks Cutajar whether he was the one to nominate Valletta to sit on the FIAU board. 

Cutajar says it was not. 

“That appointment takes place every three years,” he says. “When I took office, that board was already composed. There was just one recommendation I tabled, and Valletta was not involved. He had either left the corps or was on his way out at the time.”


'I don't want my words to be twisted' 

10.31am  Cutajar is asked what police did, pending the three FIAU reports.

“I’m not sure, “ he replies. “I don’t want my words to be twisted, implying I committed perjury today”. 

'I never protected anyone' 

10.28am  Cutajar assures the board that he is not out to pass the buck. He refers to himself in the third person. 

“Out there, the impression was that Cutajar was trying to protect someone,” he says. 

“I’ve been out of the corps eight months now. Yet investigations are still ongoing, as they were before. Nothing has changed. There’s a false impression that things got moving after I left the corps. But let me stress, I never protected anyone, never, never!”

Did Cutajar read Daphne's blog? 

10.25am  Cutajar says that the first time he heard of the Panama Papers was through the media. 

He is asked whether he followed Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog. 

He says that the police’s media relations unit (CMRU) prepares cuttings from the media for commissioners. 

“So whether you read them or not, they end up on your desk to read,” he says. 

Police requests to foreign jurisdictions 

10.21am  Cutajar goes over his notes. 

He says that at that point, the police may have started speaking to banks involved. 

“But then we needed more information via letters rogatory, including from Dubai”. 

[Letters rogatory are documents sent to a foreign court requesting information about a specific person within that court’s jurisdiction] 

He is asked if foreign countries cooperated. 

“What I know is that they were very difficult. I was told they showed no cooperation at all,” Cutajar says. “The United Arab Emirates did not cooperate at all, I was told. I don’t know if things changed after I left. But that’s what I was always told”. 

He tells the inquiry that apart from Dubai, police also sought information from Montenegro, Singapore, China, the UK, Latvia, Switzerland and [EU crime agency] Europol. 

He tells the inquiry that whenever he checked up on the investigation, the feedback he received was that it was progressing. “Slowly, but moving”. 

'The perception was wrong!' 

10.16am Judge Said Pullicino notes that the reports concerned top political figures – a chief of staff and a minister. 

“Don’t you think you ought to have investigated?” he asks the witness.
Cutajar gets a bit hot under the collar. 

“Do you arrest first and gather evidence later?” he replies. 

Judges say that the perception is that the police did nothing. 

“The perception was wrong!” Cutajar exclaims. 

Three FIAU reports 

10.14am Cutajar says that the police were to receive three reports from the FIAU. 

“But meanwhile, what did you do?” judge Abigail Lofaro asks. 

“After the preliminary report, we sought advice from the AG,” he replies. “We decided to wait for more details from the FIAU. That was 2016. 

“There was a report about [former OPM chief of staff] Keith Schembri and [Nexia BT director] Brian Tonna. It spoke of three payments deposited in an account belonging to Willerby in December 2014. Two were payments of €50,000 each as part-paymnt of a loan from an account at Pilatus Bank.

“There was another report regarding Schembri and  [former Allied Newspapers managing director] Adrian Hillman. It concerned a payment to Hillman directly or to trusts belonging to Hillman.

“The third report was about the relationship between Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri. I don’t have the date [of the report]. The first report came in April 2016, the second in November 2016.”

'AG warned it was highly intrusive' 

10.07am Cutajar: “I always instructed them to seek the attorney general’s advice. We don’t take every case to the AG, but a case like that definitely needed the attorney general’s advice, also because the matter could end up in court.” 

Cutajar now reads from the AG’s advice on this matter. “It is highly intrusive... exercise caution and demand a high level of reasonable suspicion,” he reads. 

“That was the advice given by the AG [Peter Grech] on how police were to act,” Cutajar tells the board. 

Judge Said Pullicino asks if the AG’s reply was sent directly to him. Cutajar checks his notes.

“It reached me on May 10. The advice was given on April 21. It was given to me but I didn’t speak to the AG myself. I spoke to Abdilla and Valletta about the case,” he says.

Cutajar on FIAU's Mizzi report

10.04am  Cutajar recalls an FIAU report about (former Labour minister) Konrad Mizzi, which was given to his predecessor as commissioner, Michael Cassar. 

“The FIAU had already spoken to various persons, but the report was not complete. It was a preliminary report. Valletta had spoken to then-superintendent Abdilla about it. There was a meeting, I wasn’t present.” 

Cutajar talks up his achievements

10am Cutajar is talking up his successes, saying he introduced new financial crime experts into the force and gave the ECU a new office in Santa Venera. 

“I trusted my officers. I always left investigations in the hands of my inspectors and in my three-year term the corps registered many successes,” he says. 

“My prime role was to provide support”. 

Cutajar says it is not true that he left FIAU reports to fester in his desk drawer. 

“Such files would go directly to (former ECU chief) Ian Abdilla or (former deputy commissioner) Silvio Valletta,” he says.

Cutajar and his politics

9.55am Cutajar is asked about his politics. 

“My passion is not politics. Everyone votes, but I never went to mass meetings or followed political programmes”. 

He is asked about a Facebook post he had published in 2014, in favour of a Labour prime minister. He says he mainly comments about football. 

[In the comment, Cutajar praised Joseph Muscat as a prime minister “with balls”]. 

“Did nobody draw your attention to the fact that such a comment is not on?” the board asks. 

“No. I posted it on the spur of the moment, [ta’ dak il-ħin]” he replies.

Cutajar's rise to commissioner

9.51am Cutajar tells the inquiry he sat for a competitive exam to become an inspector. When he applied to be an assistant commissioner, he placed fourth out of six applicants. That interview process was organised by the police and Home Affairs Ministry. 

The prime minister at the time [Joseph Muscat] sent for him to be interviewed when it came to being made commissioner. 

“I never had any pretentions of office, but I wanted to improve the corps – to improve district offices, appoint new inspectors and so on,” Cutajar tells the inquiry.

He is asked about his relationship with his predecessors. 
“I got along with everyone,” he replies.

Cutajar revisits his résumé 

9.48am Cutajar goes over his professional history. He tells the inquiry he joined the force in 1979 and became an inspector in Żejtun in 1984. He rose to the rank of superintendent and then was made assistant commissioner in January 2014. From then, he was made acting commissioner and then commissioner, replacing Michael Cassar. He quit the force in January 2020. 

Cutajar yet to testify in inquiry into Ġojja links

9.43am Cutajar tells the inquiry that his lawyer, Ezekiel Psaila, is present. 
Answering a question by the board of inquiry, Cutajar says that he has not yet testified before the inquiring magistrate tasked with looking into allegations concerning his meetings with Edwin Brincat, known as il-Ġojja

[Brincat is a close friend of murder middleman’s Melvin Theuma. Cutajar has admitted he met with him but said that he did so in the hope of extracting information about recordings Theuma had made]. 

Cutajar asks the board to be exempted from professional secrecy rules which bind him when answering questions related to money laundering. The board duly does so. 

Cutajar to testify first

9.38am We expected Muscat to testify first, but lawyer Jason Azzopardi – who is appearing on the Caruana Galizia family’s behalf – says that Cutajar will be the first up.

Cutajar steps up to the witness stand and takes the oath. 

Witnesses wait

9.33am The three judges are here and the inquiry session can begin. Antonovich and Cutajar are both here.


9.30am Good morning and welcome to this live blog. Cutajar is expected to be the main witness during today's hearing, but we expect economic crimes unit inspector Antonovitch Muscat to appear first. 

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