Malta, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s killer last text message: “Open a bottle of wine for me“

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Degiorgio, one of the three men arrested for the murder of Maltese reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia, exposed by a mobile phone left with no credit

MALTA – The truth about the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia is in the details of a probe and its watertight evidence against three suspects of being the principals in her murder. Nonetheless, the case is still by far not as solid as it should be, because it lacks a motive and an accessory before the fact.

It is therefore necessary to stick to the details – that is, what they tell and also what they logically suggest or exclude – that two different qualified sources, who had access to the documents of the probe, told Repubblica.

One could start with the text message sent to his wife by George Degiorgio, the man who remotely triggered the TNT that blew out the rental white Peugeot that drove Caruana Galizia, and one of the three men whose arrest was validated Tuesday night.

On 16 October at 3.30 PM, that that is twenty-five minutes after the explosion that wrecked the car, Degiorgio sent a text, retrieved by the Maltese police in the storage of his wife’s cell phone, that read in English: "Open a bottle of wine for me, baby".
 
This was a last offense to what remained of the body of a courageous journalist guilty just of documenting a systemic corruption in a country in the heart of the European Union, turned into a pirate island by its ruling class. It was also the last mistake that nailed down the commando which, on behalf of others, agreed to kill her. This was not the only mistake made. The other was again George Degiorgio’s on the same afternoon at 4 PM.

Shortly before 3 PM, while his brother Alfred and Vincent Muscat (the other two men arrested) were keeping under watch a stretch of the street Daphne drove to get home, George, who was a few miles away aboard his boat at anchor in the waters in front of the Valletta harbour, checked the "dedicated" mobile phone from which, with a text message, he would trigger the TNT that had been placed in the car under the driver's seat at 2 o'clock in the morning. The Peugeot had been opened by hacking an electronic system that allows unlocking the central lock without leaving behind any trace of the burglary.
 
On his boat, when George was ready to trigger the explosion, he realized he lacked credit. He didn’t realize that what he was about to do will connect him beyond any reasonable doubt to the murder (or perhaps he thought about it and dismissed it not caring at the consequences).

Using a second smartphone registered in his name, he called a friend at the Maltese phone company asking him to top-up €5 on the mobile phone number from which he was going to send the text that would pulverize Daphne's car. The operation required a few minutes. Then things kicked off. The roar marked the end of a story that began two months earlier when, according to Maltese investigative sources, the two brothers Degiorgio and Muscat began to work on a plan to assassinate Daphne.
 
The Degiorgios already worked car bombs. At least eight times, if the math is correct, because eight are the mobile phones recovered from the shallow waters of the port of Valletta where George threw out also the one used to kill Daphne.

Indeed, the Degiorgios operated with certainty of impunity: only a person enjoying total impunity could afford not to worry, like George, to be officially unemployed and therefore living hand to mouth, about having a Corvette and an Audi Q7 parked in his garage at home.

The three had no direct interest in murdering Daphne, because she had never written or had anything other to do with them. The conclusion is that her murder was ordered by a second party to the three hit men, or maybe even by an intermediary – the Maltese police believe so – which allowed the accessory to cancel any link between him or her and the murder. Who could be that?
 
Jason Azzopardi, a brilliant and well-known criminal lawyer on the Island, is a member of the Parliament with the nationalist opposition and the lawyer of the Caruana Galizia family. He said, "I can only say two things: first: Daphne's death was a shock but not a surprise. Her death could be avoided, she had to be protected. Second: the absence of any connection between her and the men accused of being the perpetrators of her assassination leads to conclude, by using some logic, that the accessory or the accessories are to be sought on the Island by following the lead that starts with the man who killed her".
 
His line of thought is elementary and can, of course, be shared. It also puts aside, at least for the time being, the hypothesis some elaborated on in the hours following the arrests that the accessory and the motive of the murder had to be sought within the clandestine oil trade between Libya and Malta (Daphne had written about, but only in two occasions). On the contrary, the lawyers line of reasoning advises to look into the number of defamation lawsuits (i.e. also a list of enemies) that were piling on her desk in the last period of her life.

There were as many as 47 pending ones from the last four years, after the Labour government took office. Of those, 77 percent were promoted by sponsors and members of the Labour Party, including Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, ministers Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona and the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Keith Schembri.

One of her stories surfaced last May when Daphne got hold of an exchange of emails using private accounts between the Prime Minister and his chief of staff with Christian Kalin, president of Henley & Partners, a British company that set up a sale of Maltese residence certificatesOAS_RICH(‘Bottom’); and passports together with the Maltese Government.

In those emails, the Premier and his chief of staff gave the go-ahead to a "judicial attack" aimed at Daphne and at any other journalist who would have wanted to follow her lead all the way to the Courts in London.

[ Fonte articolo: Repubblica ]

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