After Caruana Galizia Case, Ex Police Commissioner Calls For Greater Phone Record Powers
'Using phone records through orders against service providers was always difficult but we have seen the benefits it could have'
Former police commissioner John Rizzo (Photo: TVM)
Mobile service providers should regularly provide the police with access to their phone records just as they did in their investigations into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, former police commissioner John Rizzo has said.
It is believed the police managed to trace down the three men suspected of assassinating Caruana Galizia thanks to an unprecedented level of cooperation from Malta’s communications service providers. Now John Rizzo, recently appointed as the PN’s representative on the anti-corruption commission, has told The Malta Independent such cooperation between police and service providers should set a precedent.
“I feel that this current case has opened a lot of doors in terms of investigating; the use of phone records through orders against service providers was always difficult but we have seen the benefits it could have,” he said. “I genuinely hope that this method is continually used, even with regard to cold cases.”
“I do believe that we should always use our full attention, resources and finances that are at the country's disposable when you have a serious crime, such as was evidenced in Daphne's murder.”
The three men charged with murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia (Picture drawn by Seb Tanti Burlo)
Rizzo, who was police commissioner from 2001 to 2013, dismissed suggestions the police are not doing their utmost to get to the bottom of the Caruana Galizia murder case.
“I don't have the evidence of the case so I cannot talk about its specifics. What I can say is that the court of public opinion and the police are two completely different things,” he said. “During my time there were many instances when the public had an opinion, but I knew the facts to be very different.”
“Unfortunately, the accused in this case refuse to speak, which makes it hard to find out the motive. They might not even know who ordered the murder. There are so many stages that there could be a maze of different people involved.”
“What we know up to now is that it appears there is no link between the three men and Daphne. I disagree entirely that the police are not doing their job or do not want to find out. If this is the case, and the public thinks this way, it can result in a very serious situation. I have worked with a lot of people involved in the case, and I can assure you that they are very capable and serious individuals.”
The case against the three men charged with killing Daphne Caruana Galizia is set to resume on 1st February. By then, the Attorney General must decide whether to send the case straight to a trial by jury or to send it back to the court, requesting the magistrate to listen to more evidence and hear a list of witnesses before the case goes to the jury stage.