Nationalist MP and Daphne Caruana Galizia family lawyer Jason Azzopardi has suggested former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had called a snap election in 2017 because he was informed of the plot to assassinate the journalist.
“Joseph Muscat’s decision to call a snap election in 2017 was a corrupt decision, if not one which was smeared with blood,” Azzopardi said in Parliament. “He knew that he was going to be exposed by Daphne Caruana Galizia, he knew there was a plot to kill her, and he definitely wanted to get the election out of the way before her murder.”
Azzopardi spoke out moments after Homicide Inspector Kurt Zahra testified that murder suspect Yorgen Fenech had told police he had bene informed of the government’s plan to call a snap election in December 2016.
This was around the same time that the SIM cards used in the burner phones used to kill Caruana Galizia were purchased.
Muscat had called a snap election in May 2017, a year early, and ended up winning it by a landslide.
The then Prime Minister said he went to the polls early because he was concerned that the Maltese economy would suffer in the wake of Caruana Galizia’s allegations that the Panama company Egrant belonged to his wife.
However, Caruana Galizia had noted that the domain name for www.laqwazmien.com, which was to become the Labour Party’s election campaign slogan, was registered on 7th April, 13 days before she published the Egrant story.
“For the last month I have tried in vain to break through the concrete wall of popular conviction – including the conviction of the European press – that Joseph Muscat called the general election in response to the Egrant Inc story which this website broke on 20 April,” Caruana Galizia had written.
“He did not. And I knew he did not because in early April plans for the general election were already so far advanced that word was leaking out to me from producers of campaign collateral and others who had been commissioned to work on materials necessary for the election itself.”
Caruana Galizia had also reported that Henley & Partners CEO Christian Kalin had told her on 2nd April 2017 that “an election is coming”.
Azzopardi urged Abela to take action against Muscat, stating that “if this is all a coincidence, then he should give me the numbers I need to win a lottery”.
“In the best case scenario, Muscat called a snap election because he knew Daphne was going to expose the Montenegro scandal,” he said.
“In the worst case scenario, Muscat knew in advance about the plot to kill her. His best buddy Yorgen, with whom he and Keith Schembri had shared a private WhatsApp chat, had known in December 2016.”
“What will Robert Abela do now? He’s known about the Panama Papers for five years and about the Montenegro scandal since November. You insulted us, called us traitors and negative, and you must apologise for this. We were right, Simon Busuttil was right… Konrad Mizzi is corrupt.”
“You know what Joseph Muscat ‘The Ginger’… he’s known as ‘Ginger’ in certain chats…knows. Tell us.”