Opposition MP Karol Aquilina received a package of cocaine in the post in what he believes was a plot to silence him by people implicated in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder.

The Nationalist MP revealed he was sent the drugs in a white envelope mailed from Canada.

Speaking to Times of Malta, Aquilina said the incident happened in March 2019 and he had not yet spoken publicly about it because for the past few months the matter had been the subject of a magisterial inquiry he himself had triggered.

The magisterial inquiry, led by Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, has established that the suspicious package sent to his office at Nationalist Party headquarters was indeed cocaine, but there is no sign of who was behind the delivery.    

Last year, firebrand MP Jason Azzopardi had taken to social media to alert the public to the arrival of a sachet of “suspicious white powder” at his office. Times of Malta is informed that aside from Aquilina and Azzopardi, other outspoken MPs had also received identical packages.  

Azzopardi recalled the incident on Facebook on Sunday and expressed solidarity with Aquilina.

Aquilina told Times of Malta: “I remained quiet about this for months because I hoped the police would be able to get to the bottom of it. But it has been a year now and I haven’t heard from them. I am certain that this was an attempt to intimidate or even silence me by people implicated in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder.” 

The MP, who is also opposition spokesman for good governance, said he believes the package had been mailed to him in the hope that he would open it and handle the substance, only for the police to then receive an anonymous tip to search his home or office.  

I don’t trust the police top brass

“Then what would have happened? How would I explain that away? I would probably have had to step down,” he said. 

Aquilina was recently in the headlines after the Labour Party published a video of him driving while motorcycle officers led an escort of dignitaries on their way to Valletta in June last year.

Published by Karl Stagno Navarra on ONE TV’s Pjazza two weeks ago, the footage shows Aquilina having an exchange with one of the officers and later driving through a red light.  

Stagno Navarra has written to the police to insist on an investigation into Aquilina for flouting traffic rules and possibly endangering an officer’s safety.

But Aquilina hit back, saying the red light had been manned by officials from the Transport Authority which had waved him and other motorists through. 

As for the claims that he ignored traffic police’s instructions, he says he was never given any order by the officers.

“Stagno Navarra’s claim that I endangered an officer’s safety is a ridiculous lie. Moreover, there was no dignitary in the motorcade,” he insisted.

Aquilina said it was the release of this footage that had motivated him to speak up about the cocaine incident.

He said the footage, taken from a camera on one of the diplomatic vehicles, “clearly comes from within the police force”.  

“I am sure that it was leaked to the Labour Party by senior officers. This is all happening in a context of a number of messages I received for the way I speak out against corruption,” he said.  

“I don’t trust the police top brass. I cannot exclude that the next attempt to frame me would have been that I am implicated in a magisterial investigation about drug trafficking,” he said.

Contacted last week, opposition leader Adrian Delia said he stood by Aquilina.

 

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