Three days after the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, police commissioner Laurence Cutajar finally decided to call a press conference (his first one ever) about the case.
Flanked by assistant commissioners Silvio Valletta and Martin Sammut, Cutajar fielded question after question by the local and foreign press about the case and his own competence but answered practically none of them, insisting he doesn’t want to compromise the ongoing magisterial inquiry.
Questions which remain unanswered include whether the police have started questioning people, whether they have managed to find Caruana Galizia’s laptop and mobile phone, and whether the explosive used in the car bomb was – as has been reported – the military-grade explosive Semtex.
He also dismissed calls to resign by arguing he had received several promotions and rewards by both PL and PN administrations throughout his 40-year career in the police force and claiming he “doesn’t think people are questioning my integrity”.
All Cutajar had to do to prove himself wrong was to check Lovin Malta’s Facebook live feed of the press conference, in which people were pillorying him left, right and centre.
“So my family and kids have to depend on these clowns for our safety if something were ever to happen,” one woman wrote. “What a desperate situation we ‘re in indeed.”
“Shame on all of you!!!!! You are not fit to be anywhere close to the position you are occupying!” a man wrote. “Shame shame shame you let the whole nation down.”
“I hope this press conference doesn’t make it to the international fora…it’s a national embarassment,” another woman wrote.
Cutajar was also mocked for his command of the English language and for ending the press conference by thanking the people who had offered him their condolences when his mother died last week.
What we did learn is that the Maltese police are receiving technical assistance from four FBI officers and four Dutch forensic experts, while reports they are also being assisted by Scotland Yard have been quashed.
This notwithstanding, the Prime Minister’s chief of communications took to Facebook to quote a Daily Beast article which claimed both the FBI and Scotland Yard are investigating the case.
Other FBI police officers are also in Malta to assist in separate investigations related to human trafficking. The police have towed Caruana Galizia’s car to their headquarters for further investigations, they plan to analyze CCTV footage, and the autopsy on the body will be held tomorrow.
Oh, and the police are still reluctant to explain why they are reportedly refusing to investigate the Panama Papers scandal. When asked by Lovin Malta, Silvio Valletta started to get up from his chair and said “It would appear you have no more questions to ask…”
In Parliament tonight, Opposition leader Adrian Delia lambasted the police commissioner for refusing to resign.
“The whole world has just witnessed a crime conference which has sparked serious doubts and fears about the police’s capability to ensure justice will be served,” he said. “If that crime conference is the best this country can do, then we truly aren’t capable of doing anything to ensure justice is being served.”