Former OPM employee Neville Gafa has stood by his sworn testimony after Prime Minister Robert Abela rubbished his claims that he helped orchestrate a government-backed Malta-Libya irregular migrant operation from 2018 to 2020.
During the public inquiry looking into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Gafa confirmed that he had visited the country in November 2018 with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s then-security guard Kenneth Camillieri, both of whom used a diplomatic visa.
He insisted that he was on government business over the migrant crisis and that his work in Libya helped prevent a national crisis in Malta.
However, in a series of parliamentary questions from MP Claudette Buttigieg on the claims, Abela said:
“There exists no such agreement,” Abela said.
“I stand by my testimony given under oath during the Public Inquiry in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The number of irregular migrants who would have entered Malta between July 2018 and January 2020, the period during which I was coordinating these operations, would have been phenomenal,” Gafa told Lovin Malta.
Gafa said that these claims are backed up by evidence. The evidence was not provided.
It seems that for now, Gafa is placing serious doubts on Abela’s statements to parliament.
Exclusive recordings and photos heard by Lovin Malta through interlocuter Ivan Grech Mintoff seem to suggest that Gafa had actually rushed to the war-torn country in November 2018 to try shut up critical witnesses in the medical visa scandal.
Gafa has confirmed with Lovin Malta that a meeting with the witnesses took place but categorically denied any attempts to bribe the witnesses.
Gafa was a controversial figure in former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s administration but resigned from his role as soon as Robert Abela was appointed, despite having attended his inauguration.
Meanwhile, he has also faced serious questions over his extremely close relationship with the Prime Minister’s former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, who remains under investigation for the murder.