Updated 1pm with Caruana Galizia statement
Two men charged in connection with journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder have questioned why they have yet to hear back about their request for presidential pardons.
In a statement published in both English and Maltese, brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio asked what was holding the authorities back from acknowledging receipt of their requests.
The brothers have claimed to have knowledge about a former minister implicated in the murder, as well as the involvement of a sitting minister in another crime.
Caruana Galizia family lawyer Jason Azzopardi on Friday hinted the sitting minister could be Carmelo Abela. Abela vehemently denies any role in the foiled heist of HSBC in 2010 and has filed a libel suit against Azzopardi.
The brothers questioned in their statement why self-confessed murder middleman Melvin Theuma was given a pardon in a "very short period of time" by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat acting unilaterally, yet they have not heard anything back about their own request after the lapse of a "considerable period of time".
They formally asked for a pardon last month.
The brothers also took a swipe at the decision to grant "presidential pardons" to a "third party," a reference to their associate Vince Muscat, who they say does not have any direct evidence about the crimes in question.
"Could it be the case that the authorities, the institutions and finally the state do not want to consider their requests in the manner contemplated by law because they advised that the information they have should lead in the case of the homicide of Daphne Caruana Galizia, amongst others, to a mastermind who was a government minister and therefore there exists a serious conflict of interest in those who in accordance to law should give their recommendation about the requests made by them", the brothers questioned.
Chris Cardona, the former minister referenced by the brothers, has denied any role in the murder.
The brothers asked if the alleged involvement of a current and former minister in criminal activity was behind the delay in their pardon requests.
The Degiorgios' costly legal defence appeared to have hit a snag following the arrest of Theuma and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech in November 2019.
Confronted by Times of Malta prior to their arrests, the Degiorgio's lawyer William Cuschieri refused to say how he was getting paid.
Theuma has since admitted to funelling money to the Degiorgios via their brother Mario.
In recent weeks, the brothers again appear to be in a position to amount a robust legal campaign.
'They're all in cahoots' - Matthew Caruana Galizia
Relatives of Daphne Caruana Galizia are vehemently opposed to granting any further pardons to solve the case.
Matthew Caruana Galizia, one of Daphne’s sons, told Times of Malta on Saturday that all those involved were working together in an attempt to elude justice.
“They expect everyone to believe that what they’re claiming to know, without presenting any evidence either on or off the record, is somehow worse than their role in my mother’s murder,” he said of the Degiorgio brothers’ request.
“All of the people involved in my mother's murder are in cahoots with each other and are mounting a campaign - funded by the mastermind from the beginning - to ensure that they all walk free.
"Rather than dishing out pardons and plea bargains to dampen public outrage, investigators should focus on following the trails of money used to facilitate the corruption in the energy deals that led to the murder, fund the murder itself, fund the attempted cover-up, then fund the defence of the accused murderers," Caruana Galizia said.
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