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Silvio Valletta should not be involved in Caruana Galizia case, judge rules

Assistant police commissioner is married to Gozo minister

Justyne Caruana and Silvio Valletta.

Justyne Caruana and Silvio Valletta.

The court has ordered Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta to desist from taking part in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation because of a potential conflict of interest due to his marriage to a minister.

The victim's family had contested Mr Valletta's presence in the murder investigation, insisting he had a conflict of interest as a result of his marriage to Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana and his role as a board member of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).

Presiding over the superior court, Judge Silvio Meli said it was natural that doubts are raised over the investigation when the person in question is a politically exposed person, the husband of a minister, an FIAU member and also one of the subjects targeted by the victim.

The judge said that all of Mr Valletta's involvement in the investigation so far was to be re-examined by the person replacing him in the position.

Read: Caruana Galizia's family want deputy commissioner removed from murder investigation

Mr Valletta, together with his wife, had been targeted by harsh criticism by Ms Caruana Galizia, whose role as an investigative journalist was to place such politically exposed persons under public scrutiny, the family had said.

Lawyers Jason Azzopardi, Therese Comodini Cachia and Eve Borg Costanzi represented the Caruana Galizia family in the case. 

Lawyer Victoria Buttigieg from the AG’s office assisted the respondent.

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