Updated: Police lead investigator denies that bill of indictment against accused of murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia will be tactically issued in the 11th hour
Update: The leader investigator against the men charged with murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia has denied reports that the prosecution in the case is planning to issue a bill of indictment against the three accused at the last minute.
Police inspector Keith Arnaud, writing on Facebook on Sunday, said a story carried by The Malta Independent today claiming that there was a strategy in place to indict Alfred Degiorgio, George Degiorgio and Vince Muscat “at the 11th hour” was not true.
Malta Today reports : “In a very rare occasion of a police officer speaking in public about an ongoing case, however, Arnaud chided The Malta Independent, saying that “hiding behind the phrase ‘well-placed sources’ or ‘sources behind the matter’ would still render you irresponsible to publish such an article’.”
Arnaud said he wanted to point out that “true sources in this case do not have a strategy or plan as ‘your source’ advise.”
“We do not ‘lock people up and throw away the key’,” the inspector emphasised, “That is NOT our job.”
The Malta Independent’s report said a bill of indictment is expected to be issued against the three men accused of being Daphne Caruana Galizia’s hit men at the 11￼hour and just before the 20-month window closes, after which they would be granted automatic bail, The Malta Independent on Sunday quoted well-placed sources.
Having been arrested in December 2017, that term expires in early August.
But sources close to the matter, who have asked to remain anonymous, have insisted that there is no intention to “ever let any of them see the light of day. They want to lock them up and throw away the key.”
According to the sources, it is not the delay in the issuing of the bill of indictment that would offer the possibility of bail but, rather, such a delay would ensure they remain behind bars.
“Apart from that consideration,” one source told this newspaper, “the attorney general will do it [issue the bill of indictment] at the last minute so that evidence can be collected up to the last moment.”
There is also the issue of a possible plea bargain, a process that could take place between the between the bill of indictment and prosecution.
Presiding Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit ruled, on 21 December 2017, that there had already been sufficient evidence for a bill of indictment to be issued just three weeks after the three men were charged.