“Prominent individuals” who have yet to be publicly named were involved in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder and other crimes, one of the suspects in the assassination has said.

In a court application by his lawyer Marc Sant, murder suspect Vince Muscat, known as il-Koħħu, accuses the police of unnecessarily delaying drawing up a report about his request for a presidential pardon to walk free in exchange for information about the journalist’s murder as well as other crimes he says he has inside knowledge about.

The murder suspect says in the application that it is clear Inspector Keith Arnaud and fellow investigator Kurt Zahra are playing for time in the interests of “prominent third parties”, some of whom are politicians involved in the crimes.

No further information or evidence about the “prominent” individuals or politicians was given in the application.

The murder suspect has summoned the entire cabinet from 2017 to date, including former prime minister Joseph Muscat and his then right-hand man Keith Schembri, to testify about his presidential pardon request.

Vince Muscat details how he first put in an informal request for a pardon via investigator Arnaud.

That request, which mentioned the involvement of Melvin Theuma, was rejected by Joseph Muscat on the police's advice.

Secret recordings between Theuma and suspected mastermind Yorgen Fenech played in court have revealed how the pair were leaked information about Vince Muscat’s April 2018 pardon request being turned down by the prime minister.

A formal request for a pardon was put in shortly after Theuma and Fenech were arrested by the police in connecti­on with the murder in November 2019.

Since then, Vince Muscat has held five sessions with the police between January and February, detailing his knowledge of various crimes.

All these sessions were recorded on a total of nine CDs. Ever since these sessions were held, Muscat says the police have come up with every excuse possible, from COVID-19 to pending meetings with the attorney general, so as not to finalise the report about his pardon request.

Sources say the police are still working to corroborate the information given by Muscat, some of which relates to crimes carried out over a decade ago.

Il-Koħħu claims the only reason for this “exaggerated delay” is that there are hidden interests to protect certain prominent individuals who have yet to be mentioned in connection with Caruana Galizia’s murder as well as in connection with other crimes.

The murder suspect also argues that a pending trial over his alleged involvement in the 2010 failed HSBC heist should be postponed pending a decision on his pardon request.

Among the list of witnesses in the application are George and Alfred Degiorgio, who are also accused of carrying out the bomb plot, as well as Theuma and Fenech.

Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the attorney general’s office, the police and the lawyers for Caruana Galizia’s family were also mentioned as witnesses in the court application.

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