Malta’s Commander of the Armed Forces has issued what he describes as a “right of reply” following revelations that a staff sergeant was in a romantic relationship with a drug kingpin. Still, he has failed to reply to direct questions as to whether he was ever made aware of the relationship.
Lovin Malta revealed that Brigadier Jeffrey Curmi was aware of the relationship between criminal Raymond Caruana and Sgt. Carmen Pace, who was present at Caruana’s home when he was murdered in March 2015.
Pace, who had been fired from Malta’s Security Service in 2011 over a serious misdemeanour and reinstated to the army soon after, was never reprimanded for her relationship with one of Malta’s top criminals. Rather, she was promoted months after Caruana’s murder.
Curmi and the AFM, who failed to reply to questions sent before publication, have since issued a right of reply:
“Lovin Malta’s allegation that “Brigadier Curmi knew that an army sergeant was in an intimate relationship with a drug kingpin at the time of his murder” is unfounded speculation, incorrectly presented as fact. The Commander of the AFM is not in a position to know the intimate life of a workforce of 1800 individuals.”
“As to the former army member in question, her posting in the Malta Security Service and back to the AFM did not take place under the command of Brigadier Curmi, as these happened in 2006 and 2011. No disciplinary action was taken in her regard in 2011 when she was posted back to the AFM. In denying or withholding promotions, the AFM takes into consideration the finding of guilt in internal disciplinary proceedings (which may include conduct unbecoming to the service), and convictions by a Court of Law or pending proceedings.”
Lovin Malta has requested Curmi and the AFM to respond to a series of still unanswered questions sent by the newsroom – including whether Curmi was ever made aware of the relationship.
Prime Minister Robert Abela and Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri have also failed to reply to questions sent over the issue.
Raymond Caruana was murdered outside his San Blas residence in Haz-Żebbuġ on 20th March 2015.
A total of 30 rounds had been fired. A burnt car with an assault rifle was found in Rabat days later. At the time of his death, he was believed to be one of Malta’s high-profile criminals.
Documents show that the sergeant was actually promoted to staff sergeant a few months after the murder.
Caruana is believed to be the man who triggered a chain of deaths between 2011 and 2015 after a large amount of cocaine from his warehouse was stolen.
Police believe that Caruana could have been behind the deaths of Joseph ‘Il-Lion’ Cutajar and Paul ‘Is-Suldat’ Degabriele, who are suspected of being part of the heist along with Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Alfred Degiorgio.
Reports have since claimed that the death of Caruana, who at the time was believed to be one of Malta’s high-profile criminals, left a void that was exploited by Robert and Adrian Agius, the Tal-Maksar brothers – who are believed to have moles inside the police and MSS.
What do you think of the reply?