The lawyer for murder suspect Vincent Muscat "il-Koħħu" believes that Prime Minister Robert Abela should withdraw from any cabinet discussion about a presidential pardon for his client "for the sake of transparency".
Mark Sant said Abela should step back on a discussion about a pardon for his client after it was revealed that he was formerly an attorney for the Agius brothers, nicknamed the suppliers of the bomb that killed Daphne in court Caruana Galizia.
"This was news for my client and his family," Sant told MaltaToday. "I have no doubt that Robert Abela will do the right thing on this delicate matter."
Muscat has apologized for information about the Caruana Galizia attack and other crimes.
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But Sant said Abela shouldn't be lightheaded in making the decision. "I hope he is aware that this is not the only conflict of interest among current cabinet members," he said of his client's recent court motion claiming that "celebrities" who have not yet been publicly named Daphne Caruana Galizias has been involved in murder and other crimes.
Muscat has accused police of needlessly postponing a report pending since April 2018 of his request for apologies from the president to gain information about the journalist's murder and other crimes he has inside knowledge of.
When asked for more details about the names he claims to know, Sant refused to mention any persons. "In our legal acts, we have not made moody mention of prominent people, including some politically involved," said Sant, refusing to deal with his client's proposals any further.
The Times reported that Abela has represented the Agius family on two cases involving financial disputes, first in 2012 and then in 2016, and is now considering whether to back off the decision, a suspect in return for to excuse his nomination. "The fact that I personally represented the Agius brothers, not my law firm, is no secret," said Abela.
A joint investigation by MaltaToday and The Times found that the Agius brothers, whom police believe are at the forefront of an organized crime group, are part of the plot that delivered the bomb that killed Caruana Galizia in 2017 .
Abela said this would not affect his judgment. “The fact that someone has been my customer in the past will certainly not work in their favor when it comes to important decisions I need to make. The oath I took in January prevents me from doing it. My conscience doesn't allow it any more, ”he said.
Vince Muscat has accused Chief Inspector Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra of gambling on behalf of "prominent third parties," some of whom are politicians involved in the crimes, and hiding the only reason for this "excessive delay" in protection Interests called "celebrities" that have not yet been mentioned in connection with the murder of Caruana Galizia.
Muscat wants the entire cabinet from 2017 to date, including former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, to testify on his request for apologies from the president.
Muscat stated that it was he who pointed his finger at middleman Melvin Theuma in April 2018. A formal apology was then requested again when Theuma and Fenech were arrested by police in connection with the November 2019 murder. Theuma was the first to be arrested on a known money laundering charge for a pending FIAU investigation that could have been sparked by the Muscat Declaration in 2018.
Muscat held five meetings with the police between January and February, during which he shared his knowledge of various crimes. Muscat wants a pending lawsuit over its alleged involvement in the 2010 failed HSBC raid, should it be postponed until a decision is made on his pardon.
Robert Abela admitted that he was currently trying to determine if there were reasons for him to apologize on the matter. "The two cases in which I appeared on behalf of the Agius brothers have absolutely nothing to do with the allegations made by [Vince Muscat]," Abela said.
Abela has not yet made a final decision as to whether a pardon should be considered and has been awaiting advice from Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà and Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg, who will carefully examine Muscat's application.