Caruana Galizia Case Continues As Murder Suspect’s 'Fishing Buddy’ Testifies
GO salesman tells court about his relationship with the three accused men
From left: Alfred Degiorgio, George Degiorgio, Vince Muscat. Courtroom sketches by Seb Tanti Burlo
The trial against the three men charged with assassinating journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia continued this morning, with a friend of one of the accused taking to the stand to testify about how the suspect had asked him to top up his phone on the afternoon of the murder.
Miguel Caruana, a GO salesman, was one of ten people the police had arrested in connection with Caruana Galizia’s murder but who was later released on police bail. In court today, he confirmed he knew all three of the suspects - George Degiorgio (Ic-Ċiniz), his brother Alfred (Il-Fulu), and Vince Musca (Il-Koħħu) - and was particularly friendly with George.
Caruana said he got to know all three of them around a year and a half ago when he bumped into them while fishing by the infamous potato shed in Marsa, where police arrested the three suspects in December.
“We became fishing buddies, and George and I used to go out fishing on his boat ‘Maya’ a few times, most recently last summer,” he said. “In fact, we were supposed to go fishing on the 16th of October [the day of the assassination] but George cancelled without giving a reason why.”
Caruana said George Degiorgio called him up at around noon of the 16th October to ask him to buy credit for a Vodafone mobile number. Caruana complied without questioning his friend’s motives, assuming the phone belonged to Degiorgio’s son.
Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in a car bomb last October
Police believe the phone in question was actually used by Degiorgio to send a fatal SMS to a SIM card that had been attached to the bomb which had been placed inside Caruana Galizia’s car. Police inspector Keith Arnaud confirmed the police have no intention of prosecuting Caruana in connection with Caruana Galizia’s murder, but no word was said of the other six men who were arrested.
Also testifying today were a married couple who live near the area in Mosta which police suspect was used as a vantage point by Alfred Degiorgio and Vince Muscat, who then informed George Degiorgio - who was stationed out at sea - when Caruana Galizia got into her car.
The married couple both confirmed they had seen a small white rented car parked near their house in the three weeks preceding the assassination, with the husband confirming he saw a man “who looked like an Arab” sitting in the driver’s seat on one occasion. They saw the car for the last time on the morning and afternoon of the assassination.
The case continues on Wednesday.