Evidence which emerged in court on Wednesday showing that those plotting to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia knew of the June 2017 snap election seven months in advance is another “damning indictment” against former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, the shadow justice minister said in parliament on Wednesday.
“What are you going to do with Muscat now, dear prime minister?” Jason Azzopardi asked.
Azzopardi said he was privy to other “facts” on the case but could not speak for the time being. He hoped the facts would emerge in court in the coming months.
The MP who is appearing as a lawyer on behalf of the victim’s family in the compilation of evidence against murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, made his comments in a brief but highly-charged adjournment speech.
Azzopardi observed it had just emerged in court that the three SIM cards used for the murder including the one used to detonate the bomb which killed the journalist had been acquired in 2016, almost a year before the murder. Moreover, it emerged that Fenech had learnt of the June 2017 snap election in December 2016.
“Muscat did not call the election because of the secret Panama company Egrant as he tried to make us believe, but for other reasons,” Azzopardi said.
He observed that Muscat had claimed he had to call an early election because he feared economic fallout from the Egrant claims.
Yet Caruana Galizia had written that the domain name for the election campaign slogan, www.laqwazmien was registered on April 7, 2017, which was almost two weeks before she issued her Egrant story.
She had also reported how the CEO of Henley & Partners, Christian Kalin had told her on April 2, 2017 that an election was coming.
“The best case scenario was that he opted to go to the polls as he realised that Caruana Galizia was after the Montenegro deal, [which was revealed recently by Times of Malta and Reuters] or in the worst case scenario because he already knew of the murder plot and did not want to hold the election later for fear of facing an electoral backlash,” the shadow justice minister said.
Azzopardi said Prime Minister Robert Abela had been made aware of the Montenegro deal last November through a briefing by the Security Service during a cabinet meeting. However, those who were present for this meeting are denying the claim.
The MP said that Abela’s inaction at the time had now forced him to take drastic measures with the expulsion of Konrad Mizzi.
“In the end, Mizzi was kicked out just like Lorry Sant” Azzopardi said.
Joseph Muscat rebuts
Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has branded remarks made in his regard earlier today by Shadow Justice Minister Jason Azzopardi as “senseless fantasy” saying he would not allow his own reputation be tarnished in such manner.
Muscat spoke in parliament on Wednesday afternoon following question time when he also asked the Speaker for a ruling to determine if Azzopardi’s remarks constituted a breach of privilege.
Muscat insisted he had nothing to do with the case while noting that he was the only prime minister under whom a major murder investigation had been successful.
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