Neville Gafa was moved around from the Health and Gozo Ministries while also dabbling in critical diplomatic affairs in Libya, but was always employed as a person of trust in former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s office.
Before today, Gafa’s exact employment had been a mystery. However, the controversial figure was able to divulge his employment history with the government during the public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
For years, Muscat had claimed that he had no idea where Gafa worked. It seems he was lying.
Gafa explained that he was employed as a person of trust by the Office of the Prime Minister immediately after 2013’s general election. He was first tasked with working as a projects director at the Foundation for Medical Services in 2013.
Gafa said he started working more directly with the Health Ministry in 2015 before Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne removed him from the role soon after.
While Gafa says this was unexplained, the popularly held belief is that he was sacked for his alleged role in the Libyan medical visa scandal.
While still officially an OPM employee, he was then transferred to Anton Refalo’s Gozo Ministry, serving as a Customer Care officer with his own Xemxija office.
During this period, he used a diplomatic passport to be Malta’s unofficial negotiator on critical migration issues in Libya.
The role continued into Justyne Caruana’s tenure as Gozo Minister before he was made coordinator within OPM in November 2019.
“I was always a person of trust within the Prime Minister’s office, even when I worked for the Health and Gozo Ministries,” he said.
Gafa resigned from the role two days after Prime Minister Robert Abela was appointed to the role.
“I resigned 48 hours after Joseph Muscat. I was loyal to Muscat, so I left,” he said.
Gafa explained that he counts Muscat as one of his few friends, with their relationship going to back to their school days.
“I’ve known Joseph Muscat for 35 years since we were kids. I’ve known Keith Schembri since 2008 when we started working on Muscat’s leadership bid” he said.
He also revealed that he meets Schembri almost daily, often going on walks with him. He also said that he did discuss the murder allegations with Schembri, who he claims denied them.