Vince Muscat was the man who gunned down Carmel Chircop and will reveal the identity of the person who ordered him to do it, Prime Minister Robert Abela has revealed.
Speaking during a press conference at Castille, Abela said that Muscat had confirmed his guilt in the 2015 murder. Muscat will also be required to return the fee he received for the hit.
Muscat was granted a pardon in return for information on the murder of Chircop. Abela has pledged to publish the pardon, revealing that it was approved by the entire Cabinet after receiving advice from Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa and Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg.
Chircop was killed after he was shot four times while walking to a garage complex in John Borg Street, Birkirkara in October 2015.
CCTV footage showed a light-coloured vehicle driving away from the crime scene. However, the crime remains unsolved.
Chircop was a partner of the legal firm Dingli & Dingli and spent time as president of the Duke of Connaught Own band club in Birkirkara.
Last year, MaltaToday reported that Chircop had in 2014 loaned €750,000 to Ryan Schembri, the owner of the now-defunct More Supermarkets who fled Malta with loan sharks reportedly chasing him.
Schembri is the cousin of former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri and is still on the run till this day.
Adrian Agius, one of the suspected bomb makers in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder, had guaranteed the loan.
Muscat was today sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to the murder. However, Muscat could be out by December 2027 – given time already spent behind bars.
In exchange, Muscat will testify in the case against George Degiorgio and Alfred Degiorgio, the two brothers who were also charged with carrying out the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. He will also likely testify in other cases.
Since the plea, three men, Adrian Agius, Robert Agius, and Jamie Vella, were arrested on suspicion that they supplied the bomb for the assassination. There are also questions as to whether the men were involved in the spate of car bombings that occurred in the lead-up to the assassination.
There had been 19 car bombs between 2010 and 2017. With practically all of the victims linked to the criminal underworld, they were often forgotten by the Maltese public while authorities found many dead ends.
Muscat has been angling for a pardon or reduced sentence for the better part of three years, insisting he could provide crucial information on the assassination, several other murders, a notorious HSBC heist, and other crimes. He has allegedly implicated a sitting minister in a “very serious” crime to investigators.
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