Chris Cardona was interrogated by the police on Saturday after he was once again implicated in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Sources told Times of Malta that the former minister was taken in for questioning at police headquarters for around an hour following claims he had met one of the alleged hitmen in the lead-up to the October 2017 car bomb murder.
Cardona was also asked about separate claims that he had set the wheels in motion for the investigative journalist’s assassination plot back in 2015.
Sources said he denied any involvement.
Contacted on Monday, Cardona confirmed he had been taken in for questioning by police but insisted he was not on police bail and had not been cautioned by police.
Normally, a person is cautioned when they have been formally identified as a suspect to a crime.
A former deputy leader of the Labour Party, Cardona was taken in for questioning the day after Times of Malta reported how he had been named as a possible party to the murder by self-confessed murderer Vincent Muscat.
Cardona has strongly denied all claims made to the police by Muscat, describing them as “pure evil fiction”.
Named as a possible party to the murder by Vincent Muscat
Muscat, known as il-Koħħu, last month walked investigators through an abandoned 2015 plan as part of a plea deal that saw him sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for admitting to his role in the killing of Caruana Galizia.
Muscat claims that Cardona was behind an approach with alleged contract killers Alfred Degiorgio and his brother George in 2015.
According to Muscat’s version of events, Cardona had settled on a price of €150,000 to kill Caruana Galizia.
Muscat’s information about the alleged plot is based on hearsay evidence, relying on what he was told by the Degiorgio brothers rather than any first-hand knowledge.
This poses a problem for police investigators who are reluctant to charge anyone for a crime without concrete evidence.
Muscat also told police that based on information given to him by Alfred Degiorgio, Cardona was aware of the 2017 plot.
The convicted murderer said Cardona was approached by Degiorgio to provide information about Caruana Galizia’s movements. He also says he dropped off Degiorgio at Cardona’s then ministry in the summer of 2017.
Cardona had also been called in for police questioning in November 2019 after alleged murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech named him as a conspirator to police.
Fenech later took back the claim, saying he was following a script given to him by former OPM chief Keith Schembri in a bid to gain immunity from prosecution.
Schembri denies any knowledge of this, although Adrian Vella, a medical doctor, has admitted to passing on a four-page script to Fenech from former chief of staff Schembri.
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