One in every of three males accused of the 2017 assassination of the Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has pleaded responsible, a serious growth in a case that has rocked the Mediterranean island nation.
Vincent Muscat was arrested in December 2017, two months after the automotive bomb assault that set off a series of occasions that led to the resignation of Joseph Muscat – no relation – as prime minister.
Vincent Muscat and the brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, all of their 50s, have been awaiting trial accused of procuring, planting and detonating the bomb that killed the journalist on 16 October 2017.
In a dramatic pre-trial listening to on Tuesday afternoon, Muscat’s lawyer, Marc Sant, knowledgeable the courtroom that his shopper wished to register an admission. When requested how he wished to plead, Muscat replied: “Responsible.”
The decide, Edwina Grima, advised the lawyer: “These are grave accusations. Homicide, conspiracy … he [Muscat] probably faces a life time period.”
Muscat repeated that he pleaded responsible.
Whereas the trio are accused of finishing up the crime, the businessman Yorgen Fenech is awaiting trial for being the mastermind. The proprietor of a Dubai firm, 17 Black, on which Caruana Galizia had reported, Fenech was arrested in November 2019 as he was crusing away from Malta on his yacht.
Caruana Galizia, 53, was recognized for investigating high-level corruption, together with contributing to the 2016 Panama Papers information leak. She has been described as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”, after exposing cronyism and sleaze inside the nation’s political and enterprise elite.
She was killed when the automotive bomb focusing on her car detonated not removed from her house within the north of the island. One in every of her sons accused Joseph Muscat of being complicit and turning Malta, a former British colony that joined the EU in 2004, right into a “mafia island”.
Muscat stepped down in January 2020 after the investigation into the homicide implicated a few of his closest collaborators. His chief of workers, Keith Schembri, and his tourism minister, Konrad Mizzi, had each been accused by Caruana Galizia of being concerned in corruption, which they denied.