Vince Muscat, who has been convicted of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, has opened up on his time in prison with his suspected accomplices, brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, making it clear that the Degiorgios had connections with extremely powerful people.
Firstly, Muscat (known as Il-Koħħu) testified that the Degiorgios were shocked when they ended up in prison, even though they had known in advance that they were going to be arrested in December 2017.
Responding to questions from the Degiorgios’ lawyer William Cuschieri and parte civile lawyer Jason Azzopardi, Muscat said that Alfred Degiorgio had told him the word on the street was that George would be arrested and that the other two would be questioned.
Muscat insisted he didn’t probe Degiorgio further because his accomplice told him they had influence with people in powerful positions.
When they were all arrested and sent to Kordin, the Degiorgios could “barely believe it”.
While in prison, the Degiorgios got their hands on a couple of mobile phones, which Alfred Degiorgio told Muscat were handed over by a friend known as ‘Il-Gandhi’.
Degiorgio told Muscat that he used one of the phones to call up murder middleman Melvin Theuma. Theuma said he wanted to visit them in prison, but Degiorgio refused.
One time, the three men were waiting for their lawyer when the Degiorgio brothers informed Muscat that they were about to get bailed out and would wait for (now retired) judge Antonio Mizzi to be on duty before filing the application.
He said the Degiorgios believed they had all it sorted out, and would have to pay €100,000 for bail, but were left bitterly disappointed when bail was refused.
Mizzi was actually one of several members of the judiciary who refused bail to the Degiorgios and has previously denied ever being approached by anyone about granting them bail.
However, Muscat’s testimony tallies with a recorded conversation between Theuma and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, in which Fenech claimed that then OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri had spoken to Judge Mizzi to grant the Degiorgios and Muscat bail.
Muscat said that at one point, he and the Degiorgios were discussing with their lawyer whether or not to send a letter to then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
He said he doesn’t remember why they were planning to write to the Prime Minister or what they wanted to tell him, other than that the phrase ‘does he know what he’s doing?’ (jaf x’inhu jagħmel?) was to feature.
However, this letter was never written.
A few days after Muscat started speaking to the police, Degiorgios informed him that they knew exactly what he was doing and that they couldn’t sleep as a result.
Muscat started speaking to police superintendent Keith Arnaud in April 2018 to start negotiating some kind of clemency and he has argued that it was only thanks to the information he provided that police were able to identify, and later arrest, Theuma.
Arnaud then discussed it with then police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, then deputy commissioner Silvio Valletta, Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri.
The information that Muscat was speaking to police was also leaked to Yorgen Fenech and Melvin Theuma; in fact Theuma started recording conversations to give himself some kind of security after finding out that Muscat was speaking to the police.
What do you make of Vince Muscat’s testimony?