Former OPM employee and Keith Schembri confidante Neville Gafa has confirmed that he did hold a diplomatic passport while working for the Office of the Prime Minister.
Speaking to the public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia following questioning from Jason Azzopardi, Gafa also revealed that he used the document to visit Libya with Kenneth Camillieri.
Camillieri is the former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s security guard linked to a covert three million euro bail request of the three men charged with carrying out the murder.
Middleman Melvin Theuma has confirmed to the courts that a meeting between him and Camillieri took place to discuss the issue, which has been echoed in recordings.
Despite their close friendship and meeting him last December, Gafa insisted that he never discussed the issue with Camillieri. Azzopardi doubted the claim, urging Gafa to tell the truth.
Asked by Azzopardi to explain Camillieri’s presence in Libya, Gafa simply said: “We weren’t going to Barcelona or Ibiza… I would ask him to accompany me.”
The trip, he explained, was on covert unofficial business targeted at looking at the migration crisis in Libya on the ground.
“Malta was spared thousands of immigrants. I would coordinate with the Libyan coastguard to have people on boats rescued. Otherwise, thousands would have died,” he said.
During the mysterious trip, Gafa also ‘bumped’ into a senior Libyan militia leader, Tajouri, who is under police sanctions. He denied there was anything nefarious about the meeting, but did take responsibility given that it did not fall under his brief.
Gafa was a controversial figure in former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s administration but resigned from his role as soon as Robert Abela was appointed, despite having attended his inauguration.
His role within the government was at often times unexplained, with dubious meetings with Leaders of the Libyan Militia as well as links to the medical visa scandal (which Gafa denies) generating controversy.
Meanwhile, his close relationship with Keith Schembri has also brought questions.