The three men charged with the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have requested a meeting with Nationalist MEP David Casa and outgoing MEP Ana Gomes in the presence of a foreign journalist.
Lawyer William Cuschieri filed this request in court today on behalf of his client Alfred Degiorgio, as well as his brother George Degiorgio and their friend Vince Muscat.
“I have only just been informed of this request and don’t know what they want to tell [Casa and Gomes],” Cuschieri was reported as saying by MaltaToday. “However, it wasn’t the defence who went to foreign police with a laptop. It was others who had said they don’t trust local institutions.”
From left: Alfred Degiorgio, George Degiorgio and Vince Muscat
This was an obvious reference to the family of Caruana Galizia, who last year handed over two of her laptops and three of her hard drives to the German federal police, citing their lack of trust in the Maltese police to respect the secrecy of the late journalist’s sources.
Assistant Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia, who is assisting the prosecution, said he was bewildered by the request and warned it risks reducing the judicial process to a political forum.
Casa and Gomes have both strong criticised the police and the government for their handling of the murder in October 2017.
In a joint statement, they spurned the suspects’ offer for a meeting.
“Politicians have no place negotiating with suspected murdered being held in custody,” they said. “If the accused want to make a confession, they should do so to the magistrate and if they want to make a public statement claiming innocence they can do so in court or by releasing a statement via their lawyer.”
“The only role that parliamentarians can play in a criminal case is to hold authorities to account. They cannot do the job of a magistrate, the police or the prosecutor. They can only see to it that those people are doing their jobs properly.”
The court will give a decision on this request next Tuesday.