The European Commissioner for Justice has shot down a request by two Maltese murder suspects asking for his intervention in their pardon plea.
Commissioner Didier Reynders urged brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio to contact Europol to share any information they had over any possible crimes – but reminded the brothers that his office couldn’t intervene in a national investigation process.
His response comes after the brothers sent an open letter to him last week, alleging they had information showing former Economy Minister Chris Cardona and current OPM Minister Carmelo Abela were in involved in serious crimes.
“While the Commission cannot comment on the national investigation in progress, it has consistently underlined the need for independent and thorough investigations that must be free of any political interference,” Reynders said as part of his response.
“The Commission has also emphasised that all those responsible must be brought to justice as soon as possible,” he continued.
“However, under the Treaties on which the EU is founded, the Commission has no powers to interfere in the day-to-day administration of justice in the Member States. In particular, as regards the refusal of the President of Malta to grant pardon to your clients, regardless of the allegations you include in your letter, I note that such power is a matter of national competence and that the Commission has no power to intervene in such cases.”
The brothers, along with Vince ‘Il-Koħħu’ Muscat, have been charged with killing Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017.
Former businessman Yorgen Fenech has been accused and charged with masterminding the plot to kill her. He has pleaded not guilty.
In their original message, the Degiorgio brothers said the Maltese government had a conflict of interest when deciding whether they’d be granted a pardon due to the fact that the brothers had now involved a current and former minister. They went on to say that the government didn’t want to listen to the information they had on the two men.
“There is a serious conflict of interest due to the fact that my clients are offering information showing the involvement of the state in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the involvement of ministers of government (previous and current) in other very serious crimes and, hence, the state can never fairly assess any requests made by them,” Degiorgio brothers’ lawyer William Cuschieri wrote in the message.
He went on to say that the brothers were ready to meet with the commissioner, a person of trust, members of Europol, Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela, as well as the media, to share their information.
Muscat has already admitted to his involvement in the crime after being given a pardon over information related to another murder, the 2015 killing of lawyer Carmel Chircop.
A pardon would see the brothers not prosecuted for their involvement in the murder plots in exchange for information regarding the current and former minister.
Cover photo: Oseveno
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