The security service had a say in identifying the three prime suspects in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder and a number of individuals who could have “assisted”, according to the intelligence agency’s 2017 annual report.

Ms Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb just metres away from her Bidnija home in October 2017.

Without mentioning any names, the Malta Security Service report, tabled in Parliament earlier in the week, says the three main suspects were arrested last December, along with a number of other individuals who it was thought could have potentially “assisted” in the murder.

Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio along with Vince Muscat were last year accused of carrying out the bombing. Seven other people rounded up on the same day of their arrest were released without any charges.

A dedicated group was set up

The MSS said in the report it began its investigations on the day of the assassination. A dedicated group was set up to collect and analyse intelligence about the case. This intelligence eventually led to the arrest of the three prime suspects.

Court testimony in the murder case showed that the MSS was already monitoring George Degiorgio in relation to another case in the weeks preceding the fatal blast. The MSS this year “categorically denied” accusations by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi that it had been aware of the plot since it had been monitoring George Degiorgio.

It said in the annual report that extensive amounts of telephone data was analysed. This helped understand the modus operandi used and establish the movements of those suspected to be involved in the murder.

The MSS said the intelligence it gathered helped the police compile enough evidence to charge the three main suspects.

The work done by the MSS team dedicated to the Caruana Galizia case was ongoing and all leads were being followed, the report noted.

The government this week rejected a parliamentary motion calling for a public inquiry into the murder.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has vowed to leave “no stone unturned” to get the case solved.

A €1 million reward was offered by the government for information leading to the identification of those responsible for the assassination.

 

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