Heirs Of Daphne Caruana Galizia Reject Prime Minister’s Egrant Libel Offer
The assassinated journalist’s heirs point to testimonies and forensic reports to explain their position
The family of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has rejected an offer from Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to drop the libel case related to the Egrant allegations,
Muscat had sued Caruana Galizia for libel when she claimed in 2017 that the Panama company Egrant belonged to his wife. Muscat kept the libel case open when the journalist was assassinated in a car bomb a few months later, but then said in court that he would drop it if the heirs admitted the story was a lie.
Matthew Caruana Galizia would later describe Muscat’s offer as ‘bloodthirsty’, with her sister Corinne Vella accusing him of trying to blackmail the family.
Last year, a magisterial inquiry found no evidence to back up the claim that Egrant belonged to Michelle Muscat and that it had received large sums of money from a Dubai company belonging to Azerbaijan’s ruling family.
The same inquiry also found that Caruana Galizia, her main informer, former Pilatus Bank employee Maria Efimova and former Head of The Malta Independent Pierre Portelli all gave contradicting statements.
The murdered journalist’s heirs, while noting that the full inquiry is yet to be published, pointed towards a number of testimonies, including that of Caruana Galizia and Maria Efimova, to explain their position.
They highlighted the testimony of Jacqueline Alexander and the trust document which indicated that Michelle Muscat was the UBO of Egrant; along with the inquiry’s forensic reports into the operational database, accounts, and archives of Pilatus Bank.
The testimonies of Karl Cini and Brian Tonna, who said they were in possession of bearer share certificates that represent 99% of ownership equity of Egrant and knew who its owner was, were also put forward.