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PN MP Karol Aquilina Calls Out Joe Giglio For ‘Insulting Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Memory’ 

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PN MP Karol Aquilina warned that fellow parliamentarian Joe Giglio undermined the memory of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia when he cast doubt over the credibility of Maria Efimova today.

“Undermining the credibility of the Egrant whistleblower is not only highly irresponsible but also an insult to the memory of courageous journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and activists who have been fighting relentlessly for truth and justice,” Aquilina, the PN’s spokesperson for justice, said today.

Giglio used to be defence lawyer of the now-defunct Pilatus Bank, which used to employ Maria Efimova, who had famously informed Caruana Galizia that the Panama company Egrant belonged to former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

PN MEP David Casa, who had worked to stop Efimova’s extradition to Malta, also spoke out against Giglio’s comments.

Casa recounted how people fighting for truth and justice over the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia “were insulted, ridiculed and even threatened because they stood up for what they believed in”.

“Pilatus Bank remains a symbol of sheer corruption and a laudramat for illicit funds which destroyed Malta’s reputation,” he said.<

Interviewed on Andrew Azzopardi’s show on Malta’s Heart this morning, Giglio said he had “serious reservations” about Efimova’s credibility.

He recounted how, as Pilatus’ lawyer, he had received “substantial evidence” that Efimova had defrauded the bank off €1,000 to book a hotel stay for her relatives and that her subsequent claims that the bank hadn’t paid her wages were baseless.

Giglio described Efimova as a “malevolent” woman who “manipulates facts” and said that while he hoped she was telling the truth about Egrant, the subsequent magisterial inquiry gave rise to further doubts over her credibility. 

In 2018, a magisterial inquiry found no evidence linking Egrant to Muscat or his family, contradictions in Efimova’s and Caruana Galizia’s testimonies, and falsified signatures in alleged declarations of trust that were handed to him by then Malta Independent editor-in-chief Pierre Portelli.

Maria Efimova

Maria Efimova

However, last year the PN called for the inquiry to be reopened after two key figures in the case, Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna and Karl Cini, were charged with forgery and giving false information to a public official in a separate case. 

Lovin Malta has asked Opposition Leader Bernard Grech whether he agrees with Giglio’s comments and Aquilina’s assessment of them and whether the PN is still in favour of the reopening of the Egrant inquiry.

What do you make of Karol Aquilina’s comment? 

READ NEXT: 'Democracy Depends On Country Having Impartial Public Broadcasting Service,' PN MP Says

Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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