The police have built a “rock solid” case against three hardened Maltese criminals – brothers George Degiorgio (Ic-Ciniz) and Alfred Degiorgio (Il-Fulu) and Vincent Muscat (Il-Kohhu)- who will be charged with the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia tonight.
Sources close to the investigation told Lovin Malta that police are in possession of triangulation data which shows one of the three men was outside Caruana Galizia’s house in Bidnija on the afternoon of 16th October. As the journalist approached the car, the man phoned up his accomplice, who then rang up a phone which triggered to a bomb that had been placed inside the journalist’s car.
The men used brand new mobile phones to carry out the assassination. Police have reportedly found the phones used to carry out the murder at the bottom of the sea by the Marsa coast, close to where the suspects themselves were arrested last night.
Police have also confirmed the material used to blow up Caruana Galizia’s car was TNT, and not Semtex as had previously been reported.
The men will be arraigned tonight following a major operation by the Maltese police force, assisted by the FBI, Europol and the National Investigation Bureau of Finland.
As of the time of writing, the three suspects are reportedly refusing to speak to the police at all, which means their motive for killing Caruana Galizia remains a mystery. The journalist had never written about any of the three and her writings on organised crime tended to be linked to political and big business interests.
Sources also said it is likely the police could use the information in their possession to solve other car bomb cases.
The three men will be charged in court tonight
The three men are believed to be involved in drug trafficking and oil smuggling rings but, although they are well-known to the police, they have never faced jail time. Alfred Degiorgio, Vincent Muscat and a third man Darren Debono (It-Topo) were charged with carrying out an armed hold-up on the food importing company Valhmor Borg in 2004 but were acquitted 11 years later.
George Degiorgio was charged and later cleared of being in possession of unlicensed weapons, cocaine and suspicious tools suitable for break-ins. Vince Muscat was charged with firing over 30 shots at police during the 2010 foiled heist of HSBC’s headquarters, but was nevertheless released on bail.
In 2014, Muscat was shot in the head by a man in a moving vehicle, who he identified as Jonathan Pace, the former owner of Tyson Butcher in Zejtun. Pace was charged with the attempted murder of Muscat, was released on bail, and was shot dead by an unknown assailant a few weeks later. Muscat was questioned by the police but was never charged with the murder.
The HSBC heist also links Muscat with the Degiorgio brothers, whose names popped up in court during the compilation of evidence against the alleged mastermind – policeman-turned-lawyer David Gatt.
Police officer Jonathan Agius had testified in court he had heard that Gatt had threatened him for carrying out a search on the car of George Degiorgio. Agius said he had spotted George Degiorgio by chance while on the beat in Marsa. As he approached him to search his car, Degiorgio’s brother Alfred turned up in a Mercedes to help his brother out, and the two of them insisted they would only accept a search if it was carried out by CID officers. The car was later searched and nothing was found.