Former minister Chris Cardona was part of a plot to assassinate journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2015, according to Vince Muscat, who has confessed to his role in the murder.
Following questioning from lawyer Jason Azzopardi, Muscat explained that he had known where Caruana Galizia lived because of a murder plot between 2014 and 2015.
He said that sometime in 2014/2015, criminal lawyer and Cardona associate David Gatt descended upon the infamous potato shed with a proposal. Gatt asked Muscat for a lift to meet Cardona at Portomaso to discuss Caruana Galizia.
At the time, the journalist had written about Cardona over his rent-free stay in a Portomaso apartment owned by Silvan Fenech, a cousin of Yorgen Fenech, the alleged mastermind in the Caruana Galizia assassination.
Jamie Vella, who is charged with supplying the bomb which killed Caruana Galizia in 2017, was also part of the plot. Muscat said that Vella was the person who showed him where Caruana Galizia lived, as he had a farm close by.
A price was even agreed with the men demanding €150,000 for the hit, with €50,000 deposit.
Muscat said that George Degiorgio had pressed Gatt for a deposit, but it was never paid. The plan, Muscat explained, was to shoot Caruana Galizia with an AK-47.
Muscat told the court that he had first met Cardona in 2010. Cardona was his lawyer in the case involving the HSBC heist.
He said that they became friends, and on one occasion, Cardona made a startling allegation about Gatt.
“Cardona told me that Gatt was hiding 300 grams of cocaine in his office,” Muscat said.
Cardona has already denied these claims. However, Muscat has now repeated them under oath.
Last week, Muscat claimed that Cardona leaked a wealth of information to Alfred Degiorgio, one of the men charged with assassinating Caruana Galizia.
According to Degiorgio, Cardona would message the high-profile lawyer, who in turn would get the information from then-Assistant Commissioner Silvio Valletta.
Cardon has vociferously denied the claims.
“These are blatant lies and form part of a frame-up plot that was built much before 2017,” Cardona said, referencing an alleged sensational plot from Yorgen Fenech and Keith Schembri.
While Cardona told Lovin Malta that his relationship with the men was purely professional, Muscat said that Cardona would go drinking with the Degiorgios regularly.
This is not the first time Cardona has been featured in the case. He was first thrown in the spotlight after Fenech’s arrest when it emerged that a letter detailing his involvement in the killing was revealed as having been sent to Fenech by Schembri via their mutual doctor.
Meanwhile, Theuma has already detailed an alleged financial relationship between Cardona and Degiorgio, suggesting he used middleman Tony ‘Il-Biglee’ Chetcuti to pass on payment.
He claimed that the relationship with the Degiorgios stretched back a year and included burner phones, family jobs, and a potential cannabis procurement license.
More sensationally, Theuma said that Fenech claimed Cardona was so worried about the murder that he ended up hospitalised after an overdose on pills.