Economic Affairs Minister Chris Cardona on Sunday welcomed a report that there was nothing to suggest that a man allegedly named in a fuel smuggling investigation had called him after also calling Daphne Caruana Galizia and a man accused of the journalist's murder.
The Malta Independent on Sunday quoted investigation sources as saying the minister did not appear to have been contacted by shipowner Pierre Darmanin but there was evidence that Mr Darmanin had been in touch with the Degiorgio brothers accused of the murder of Caruana Galizia.
The link between the minister and Mr Darmanin was made in a Daphne Project story carried in La Repubblica on Monday. It led for calls by the OccupyJustice group for the minister to resign.
The minister himself said in parliament that attempts to somehow link him to the Caruana Galizia murder were ridiculous.
In a statement on Sunday, Dr Cardona said he could not be in possession of the latest information, having no access to the underway inquiry.
However, he said, it was 'plain' is that international journalists forming part of The Daphne Project had been misled on unverified information to believe and report 'baseless conjecture and outright fabrications'.
"Unfortunately, these join the many intentional and relentless attempts to undermine my reputation and character, so to link me in some way to such a heinous act. Once again these allegations are proving to be false."
The minister said he was reiterating his call for both local and international media to be sensible and scrupulous in their reporting and be sceptical of the narrative being concocted for political gains.
"These recent efforts are shameful and border into malice and deception, so to seemingly breed resentment and distrust of what is one of the largest and most sensitive investigations in Maltese judicial history," he added.
"The inquiry should be left to take its course."
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