Economy Minister Chris Cardona had dismissed the articles published by The Daphne Project which single him out as “clearly speculative, based on hearsay which have no foundation of truth”.
“The implication is clear and highly defamatory,” he said in the first government press reaction to the stories released this evening.
The reports claimed that he was once spotted at the same bar as one of the men charged with killing Daphne Caruana Galizia.
“I welcome the fact that the Magistrate was informed on this speculative report which seems to be pushed by what media are identifying as ‘a high-ranking member of the Nationalist Opposition’,” Cardona said.
“It would be interesting had the high-ranking member of the Nationalist Opposition told the reporters who and how many high-ranking members of the Opposition frequent the mentioned bar. It would have also been appropriate for the same source to tell them how a high-ranking member of the Nationalist Opposition was defence lawyer of one the brothers who stand accused with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder,” he said.
As I told The Daphne Project with whom I have collaborated: “put the answer we gave them”.
Here are the full list of questions put to Chris Cardona and his replies.
1. What was your reaction to the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia and do you have any idea on who might have wanted to kill her?
I, together with the whole nation was shocked to learn of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder. I believe that no human being should become a victim of another’s violent and barbaric behaviour. Her murder unfortunately shows that there are human beings living among us who resort to committing such heinous acts. I have no idea who would have wanted to kill her, and if I did, I would have definitely and without hesitation informed the authorities.
2. Among other people she wrote about, were you asked to attend the investigating magistrate in the court on the night of her death? Did you give any kind of statement then or since to the police or magistrates?
As one of the recent individuals she had written about in her blog at the time, the inquiring magistrate at the time, Magistrate Scerri Herrera had summoned me together with other individuals, including other people involved in politics, who had been recently mentioned by Ms.Caruana Galizia in her blog. To date I still do not know what she would have asked me and the other people who were summoned because Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family had immediately objected to that particular magistrate being in charge of the inquiry due to the fact that she had also, for a while, been a subject of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog. Following that I was never called in by the newly appointed inquiring magistrate or any authorities on the matter.
3. Were you at Acapulco brothel in Germany on January 30th and 31st last year, as reported by Caruana Galizia in her blog?
As you probably know, there are libel proceedings which are still on-going in this regard wherein I have opposed the claims Daphne Caurana Galizia made about me, both with regards the 30th and 31st of January 2017, and have evidence, including documentary, attesting to this. I have received some harsh criticism on my decision to resort to legal remedies to defend myself. However, I still believe that my decision to protect my reputation and my family from fabrications and lies made simply to damage my twenty-year political career was the right one at the time. The tragic death of Ms. Caruana Galizia has led to a re-consideration of these libel proceedings, both procedurally and substantively, and I have entrusted my legal counsel to see how best it would be to move forward. I therefore do not wish to comment further on the case until proceedings are concluded.
4. While reporting in Malta, we’ve been persistently informed there are witnesses who saw you meeting with some of the suspects in the murder case at the Ferdinand’s bar. Do you know any of the three suspects? If so, how? Have you met with any of them either before or after Caruana Galizia’s murder? If so, please can you explain the circumstances and what was discussed.
Like most seasoned criminal lawyers in Malta, I know who some of the suspects in the case are. The particular pub you mention welcomes patrons from all walks of life, including other politicians. I do not however recall having any discussions with any of these individuals, and have definitely never had any meetings with them. Anything else is baseless rumour and speculation.