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'A few minutes later I heard the explosion': Matthew Caruana Galizia testifies in court

Son recalls events as compilation of evidence against accused continues

Police examine the wrecked car at the murder scene. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

Police examine the wrecked car at the murder scene. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

Daphne Caruana Galizia’s son Matthew recalled the fateful October day his mother was killed as he testified in court on Wednesday.

“I got up at around 9am. My mother made coffee. We were sitting at the same desk. Mother got a phone call at around 2pm from HSBC about an appointment about her bank accounts and the garnishee order. She left the house but returned to pick up her cheque book.”

Mr Caruana Galizia was testifying in the compilation of evidence against the three men facing criminal proceedings over their alleged involvement in the car bomb that murdered his mother on October 16, 2017. The three men were charged with the murder a year ago today.

Recalling that day, he said he heard his mother start the car.

“I heard the music going on and heard the car driving off. Just a few minutes later I heard the explosion.

“It’s very quiet where we live, so you hear almost everything. My mother drives very fast and she goes down the lane very fast.”

Mr Caruana Galizia said he jumped out of his seat upon hearing the explosion and ran to the gate.

“I saw the smoke rising in the distance and at that point I just sprinted down the lane towards the main road.”

Mr Caruana Galizia said that when he got to the main road he saw a tower of smoke rising in the distance.

“A large part of the road was on fire and I was confused because the road was on fire and nothing else. Pieces of plastic, glass and flesh. I followed the smoke with my eye and there I saw the field with the car in it.”

He explained that he was still trying to figure out whether it was his mother’s car when he saw the hubcaps and the number plate and realised it was the car she had been driving.

“I tried to get my hand inside the car but couldn’t. There was nobody in the car, it was blown to pieces. I saw a woman with a little girl nearby and I said call the police.”

“I noticed my mother’s leg on the ground in the field. That is when I realised that she hadn’t survived.”

“The car had not been moved from the day before when I had parked it there," he said. 

“It was just me and my mother using the car, maybe once or twice my father.”

Answering a question by lawyer Martin Fenech, the witness said “No one threatened me directly, unfortunately my mother isn’t around and she’s the person to ask.”

“Don’t you feel you should have parked it inside?” the lawyer asked.

Mr Caruana Galizia replied: “I normally park the car, lock it, open the gate with a different fob. It was just me and my mother who used the car. Maybe my father did once or twice.”

Speaking about the missing laptop belonging to the slain journalist, Mr Caruana Galizia said all he knew was that it had been handed over to the German federal police by a representative of the family.

The case continues in January.

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