We, the people, were forced by the state to participate in the funding of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s brutal assassination. Let that sink in.

Melvin Theuma, the middleman who spilt the beans in the Caruana Galizia assassination, was not entirely correct in his testimony last week. The privileged Portomaso taxi driver claimed that he hadn’t been paid “a single cent” for the deeply heinous crime.

We, the people, paid Theuma around €5,000 in virtue of the no-show government job bestowed on him at the behest of the Office of the Prime Minister and through Michael Farrugia’s ministry.

Some may claim that Caruana Galizia’s assassination was planned, funded and carried out by individuals within the Maltese state who were acting in their personal capacity. This can’t be further from the truth.

The state does not exist in a vacuum. It is formed of persons who make up our institutions and who use several tools, including information, which are at their disposal by virtue of their posts within the government.

The evidence that is emerging clearly points towards the responsibility of the state for Caruana Galizia’s assassination as well as an attempt at covering it up after it was perpetrated. Lately, we have also started to hear of the possibility that this cover-up included an attempt to frame a minister. This is how it happened:

Prior to her murder the state was actively involved in the creation of an enabling environment through a continuous campaign of dehumanisation and attacks by government officials including Glenn Bedingfield, Sandro Craus, Josef Caruana (all three from the Office of the Prime Minister). Despite all of this Caruana Galizia soldiered on in her fight for the truth and uncovered numerous cases of corruption involving Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi and their band of thieves.

It is within this context that Caruana Galizia’s murder was commissioned a number of weeks before the last general election was called.

Were this not serious, it would be hilarious to recall the show presented to us

When the election campaign kicked off on May 1, 2017, there were two significant developments: middleman Theuma started enjoying his no-show government job and the murder was put on hold.

Incredibly, the assassination plan was back on track within a few minutes of Labour’s election victory. The state continued dishing out cheques to the middleman who in turn pestered the alleged executioners to carry on with the plan without further delay.

This sorry state of affairs continued after the murder.

Relying on information provided to him in real-time by Keith Schembri, 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech confidently brushed off Theuma’s concerns about the murder investigation. Evidently, our country’s institutions were considered to be of no threat; they were, or could be, controlled.

The rot within the highest echelons of the police force is shocking. On May 7, 2017, Caruana Galizia wrote that “the very man who had been refusing to act on the several Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit reports was also a key part of the ongoing magisterial inquiry into Egrant Inc and Pilatus Bank.”  She was referring to the then Superintendent (now Assistant Commissioner of Police) Ian Abdilla.

She added: “At one point Abdilla asked me directly for documents. When I refused, he demanded to know why. I responded that the only reason the police want documents is to see what evidence there is so as to sit on it as has been done with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit reports, and that the police don’t want documents to act on them.”

Last week, Caruana Galizia’s son declared to the public inquiry that Abdilla “is known to actively communicate and exchange information with Schembri, and to leak information to journalists that is intended to cause damage to Schembri’s perceived enemies.”

Days before their arrest, the executioners were forewarned of a raid at their den in Marsa. Were this not so serious, it would be hilarious to recall the show presented to us of this raid that included roadblocks, helicopters and police and army personnel in full gear with machine guns and balaclavas.

Of course, within minutes the Prime Minister regaled us with a televised statement from Castille lest we forget that he’s the star of the show.

The rot did not stop there. After the arrest of the three murder suspects, one of Muscat’s bodyguards who up to last February was a member of the Malta Security Service, promised the executioners bail and €3 million.

In the meantime, we were being told that no stone would be left unturned to identify and capture the perpetrators. A sickening show.

The evidence that Caruana Galizia’s murder was sponsored by the Maltese state is overwhelming.

What next?

I consider that three steps are necessary.

First of all, it is imperative that all the truth emerges. What has been concocted in the dark must come to light.

Secondly, all involved must face justice and shoulder their responsibilities, both of commission as well as omission.

Thirdly, we need to re-engineer our country’s institutional set-up to keep it free from the corrupt dynasty that exists and ensure that the Maltese state doesn’t kill a journalist again. Ever again.

Karol Aquilina is a Nationalist MP.

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