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Caruana Galizia family, lawyers, have interest to derail murder case , MP says

Labour MP denies using secret Security Service information

Dr Robert Abela

Dr Robert Abela

Last updated 7.36pm.

Government MP Robert Abela said on Wednesday that the Caruana Galizia family and their lawyers, Opposition MPs Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia, had a common interest in derailing the case being brought against the three men accused of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Speaking in parliament, he said the Caruana Galizias’ “repugnance” towards Malta had overcome their interest in seeing justice against those who had allegedly carried out the killing of Ms Caruana Galizia, and had combined with the Nationalist MPs’ desire for political expediency.

Dr Abela also questioned whether rumours that the inquiring magistrate had met Dr Azzopardi outside the court were true, something which would be “very serious” if it were indeed the case.

Dr Abela was reacting to a parliamentary adjournment speech on Tuesday by Dr Azzopardi, who had questioned whether Dr Abela was privy to secret Security Service information

Dr Azzopardi had noted that Dr Abela had reportedly told an EU delegation in Malta to investigate the rule of law that there was never any mention of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia in phone intercepts recorded by the Security Service.

Dr Azzopardi had gone on to argue that either Dr Abela had indeed had illegal access to classified information, or he was bluffing, and had lied to the MEPs.  

In his reply, Dr Abela denied the allegations and said that his information had come from press releases issued by the Malta Security Service and the Police Corps almost six weeks prior to his meeting with the MEPs.

Dr Abela said he and his colleagues had presented a formidable case before the MEPs, although he regretted that they had “refused to listen” to any of the arguments brought to counter accusations made against Malta.  

Dr Abela argued that the repeated use of the House to manipulate facts was an intentional attempt to feed the defence arguments which they could use to acquit their clients, something which the parte civile lawyers and the family believed would be more damaging to the government than the successful conviction of the three alleged assassins.

As a citizen, he said, he too had an interest in finding out who was responsible for the death of Ms Caruana Galizia.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Labour Party has accused Dr Azzopardi of lying and abusing parliamentary privilege. 

The PL said that, yet again, the Nationalist Opposition was showing it was willing to go to any length to continue attacking Malta’s name. But the country would continue to find Labour defending it.

Such behaviour also continued to show how the PN was still the same in spite of the new leadership method promised by Adrian Delia.

 

In a tweet, Dr Azzopardi described the PL's press release as half-hearted and based on a lie. He said that at no point during the PL's meeting with MEPs was any reference or mention made to a prior statement by the Security Service.

The statement was also denied by MEP David Casa who said on Facebook that at no point during the meeting did Dr Abela refer to the Secret Service PR.

Instead, Mr Casa said, he misled the MEP delegation into believing this was a fact he himself was assured of.

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