A sitting cabinet minister is named in an application for a pardon by one of the alleged assassins in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case, Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi said on Saturday.
Speaking during a radio interview on 103 Malta's Heart with host Andrew Azzopardi, the MP and lawyer did not identify the minister but said their name was mention in relation to a separate crime committed years earlier.
Vincent Muscat, known as il-Koħħu, has given hours of taped testimony, detailing knowledge of the Caruana Galizia case and several other crimes, in the hope of securing clemency.
Last week Times of Malta reported that Prime Minister Robert Abela could have a conflict of interest in handling the pardon request, because he had previously represented two people il-Koħħu is expected to name in it.
Abela had appeared as a lawyer for Agius brothers Robert and Adrian, who sources say are believed to have supplied the bomb used to murder Caruana Galizia.
'PM, minister should abstain from decision'
Azzopardi was less categorical when asked whether he thought Muscat ought to be given a pardon, saying he would need to consult the Caruana Galizia family.
Azzopardi represents the family as one of its lawyers.
The MP said it was not right that someone be given a pardon after being caught red handed and after leading a life of crime. He also raised concerns over giving more than one pardon in any criminal case.
Speaking during the radio interview, Azzopardi referred to Times of Malta’s latest editorial calling for Abela to steer clear of the pardon decision.
He added that Abela was not the only one that needed to recuse themselves, but this unnamed minister should do so too.
Azzopardi said there was also an issue with two other members of cabinet who remained in close contact with alleged murder conspirator Yorgen Fenech long after he was outed as the owner of contentious offshore company 17 Black.
The PN MP also weighed in on Times of Malta exclusive that Fenech had funded a trip to Las Vegas for MFSA chief Joseph Cuschieri, MFSA lead lawyer Edwina Licari, and OPM official Charlene Bianco Farrugia.
The MP asked how this could be considered acceptable for public officials.
Azzopardi said that the information in the public domain suggested that former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri had tried to cover up evidence in the Caruana Galizia assassination.
“What has come out so far, it is clear that Keith Schembri did everything possible for Yorgen Fenech not to get caught. The question that remains is what interest did he have to do this?” Azzopardi said.
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