Former envoy Neville Gafa has wished Joseph Muscat a happy birthday with a cheeky reference to the way the former Prime Minister was referred to as ‘Ix-Xiħ’ in recordings linked to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
“Dear Joseph, another year has passed and it’s your birthday once again. I got to know you when we were 10 years old, and 37 years have passed since then. Time has gone by in a flash.”
“Your birthday is exactly a month before mine, no wonder I call you ‘Ix-Xiħ’. Others will come after you but you were, are and will remain the best of them all.”
Muscat was infamously referred to as ‘Ix-Xiħ’ (the old one) by murder suspect Yorgen Fenech in a conversation recorded by middleman Melvin Theuma at the businessman’s farmhouse.
Fenech named ‘Ix-Xiħ’ during a conversation with Theuma in relation to a pardon request by Vince Muscat, one of the three suspected hitmen.
“Owen [Bonnici] said he wouldn’t help. Ix-Xiħ said he would help if there is a 100% chance he won’t get caught, he would do it,” Fenech can be heard saying.
Theuma confirmed in court that ‘Ix-Xiħ’ was a reference to Muscat.
Fenech has told police that he and Muscat discussed Caruana Galizia’s murder twice after it happened; once at Castille and another time at Girgenti during the then Prime Minister’s birthday party.
Muscat has vehemently denied this allegation and has said he received a message that Fenech would try to implicate him in the murder unless he granted him a pardon.