A former high-ranking police officer implicated in leaking information linked to the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation spent a short stint this year at Enemalta’s internal audit and governance section soon after retiring from the force.
Former Economic Crimes Unit superintendent Ray Aquilina landed the job of manager of investigations within the section tasked with probing wrongdoing and reporting directly to the board of directors within the state-owned energy company.
He was given the Enemalta job before his name was publicly linked to the leaks.
Murder middleman Melvin Theuma has testified in court how he was expecting to receive a list detailing which of his properties would be raided in November 2019 from former Economic Crime Unit (ECU) superintendent Ray Aquilina.
Two sources familiar with the Caruana Galizia probe confirmed to Times of Malta investigator suspicions that Aquilina was leaking information.
The sources said efforts were made to compartmentalise the investigation within the ECU and to keep quiet the connection between the Caruana Galizia murder investigation and the money laundering probe.
Police used the money-laundering raid as cover to enter Theuma’s home to secure secretly taped conversations between him and Yorgen Fenech, the man he alleges masterminded the car bombing on the journalist.
Messages exchanged between Fenech and Theuma in the days and hours leading up to the middleman’s arrest show the pair knew the planned money-laundering raids were just a guise for the police to obtain the recordings. An inquiry into all the leaks that plagued the murder investigation is ongoing.
Theuma and Fenech business associate Johann Cremona reportedly discussed in other recordings a plan to get Aquilina to drop the planned money laundering charges.
Cremona was one of the key links to Theuma in the plot to cover-up Caruana Galizia’s murder, with the Fenech business associate repeatedly urging the middleman to get rid of the incriminating recordings and electronic equipment.
Cremona testified in court this year about how a “worried” Keith Schembri had called him in September 2019 to ask where Fenech was.
Fenech spent much of that summer away from Malta as he battled drug addiction.
‘I’m a private citizen’
Contacted by Times of Malta, Aquilina declined to say if he had ever leaked information to Cremona or received money or other gifts from him.
“While thanking you for your e-mail, kindly note that today I am a private citizen and, in this capacity, I have no comments to make,” Aquilina said.
Enemalta’s internal auditor Mantoine D’Ambrogio Araci told Times of Malta that Aquilina stopped forming part of the internal audit team prior to a June probe launched into the Montenegro wind farm scandal.
The internal Enemalta probe was launched on the back of revelations by Times of Malta and Reuters about how Yorgen Fenech had secretly funded the purchase of a wind farm plot in Montenegro that was bought for €2.9 million and sold to Enemalta for €10.3 million that same year.
Taking to the witness stand during the public inquiry into the journalist’s death, Aquilina shifted much of the blame for the police’s unenthusiastic corruption investigations onto his superior, former Economic Crimes Unit chief Ian Abdilla.