MaltaToday previous editions

MALTATODAY 18 October 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 47

4 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 18 OCTOBER 2020 NEWS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 According to Muscat, the initial plan was to shoot the journalist from a van- tage point overlooking her Bidnija home. He told investigators that Agius and Vella supplied three rifles with telescop- ic sights for them to try out. After all three rifles were test-fired, two of them were returned as they "were not very good", il-Koħħu told police. One of the rifles was even "rusty", Mus- cat said. The details emerged from a joint col- laboration between MaltaToday and the Times of Malta. Muscat pointed towards Alfred Degior- gio as the person with experience in han- dling the rifles and the one who would carry out the assassination attempt with the weapon. The Degiorgios maintain their inno- cence and are set to face a trial in con- nection with the murder. The attempt to shoot the journal- ist through a window where she often worked on her laptop was later aban- doned in favour of the car bomb. He told investigators that Agius and Vella showed them how to arm the de- vice, described as being half the size of an A4 paper, and also provided them with the SMS code necessary to detonate it. Muscat said they were also told by the pair that the bomb would detonate around 15 to 30 seconds after the SMS was sent. The fatal SMS with the code "Rel1=on" was allegedly sent by George Degiorgio just before 3pm on 16 October, 2017. Robert Agius, together with his brother Adrian and Jamie Vella were among the 10 men arrested in December 2017 dur- ing raids on multiple locations suspect- ed as being used to plot and execute the murder. All three were released without charge days later. Late last year, one of Muscat's family members was ap- proached in Marsa by Agius and Vella with an offer: the pair would give the family €1,500 per month in exchange for Vince Muscat's silence about the journalist's murder and other crimes. When contacted, Muscat's lawyer Marc Sant confirmed the offer was made and said that it had been refused. The police were informed about this attempt back in January. Sant said police have shown "little interest" in the information about the attempt to silence Muscat. The criminal de- fence lawyer Arthur Azzopardi, who until recently in June was defending Robert Agi- us in court on a her- oin-trafficking con- spiracy charge, said he was not acting for the Agiuses and could not comment on the information Muscat had given to the police. Azzopardi, who before November 2019 was representing Vince Muscat, denied having known of the information Mus- cat gave to the police, before dropping the brief for his client. Sources said the police have of late not dedicated many resources to reeling in the bomb suppliers as their main focus at this stage of the investigation is on those involved in the commissioning of the murder. However, Maltese law enforcement has requested help from their Europe- an counterparts to help bring down the men believed to have supplied the bomb which killed Caruana Galizia. The request was made to Europol in 2019 and is aimed at gathering enough evidence of criminal activity to bring the men to justice. MaltaToday understands that Maltese police have identified brothers Robert and Adrian Agius as the heads of a lo- cal crime group and described them as "high-value targets". The request is for collaboration with other EU law enforce- ment agencies to share intelligence. Police sources said they were aware of the claim. "Yes, we're aware of the hush money claim. But the people making the claim would have to testify about this. We still need to corroborate certain claims. We need to be careful about the problem of double jeopardy. But we are determined to get to the bottom of this case." Report by Matthew Vella, MaltaTo- day, Jacob Borg and Ivan Martin for Times of Malta as part of a joint col- laboration coinciding with the three- year anniversary of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia Muscat told police who had supplied bomb Vincent Muscat, fifth from right, looks straight ahead at the road on which Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated. Next to him, looking away, is Alfred Degiorgio 'il-Fulu', and his brother George Degiorgo 'ic-Ciniz' SPECIAL REPORT Gangland Malta and the connections to the alleged bomb-makers Page 12-13 Vince Muscat Alfred and George Degiorgio e MaltaToday Midweek edition will not be published this Wednesday and will be replaced with a Special Edition on Tuesday dedicated to the Government's budget measures for 2021

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MALTATODAY 18 October 2020