In the compilation of evidence concerning Yorgen Fenech, held on Tuesday 2nd February, one of the police witnesses testified that the moment Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered, the victim was not driving her usual car. In other words, according to this witness Daphne used to drive another car. This tiny detail is extremely important. It emerges for the first time in the narrative of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.
Readers are reminded that details regarding how the alleged hitmen managed to identify Daphne Caruana Galizia’s car was covered by at least two media outlets. The first is Lovin Malta. The second is Reuters.
In this analysis, I will stick to Reuters’ version. I will be quoting from what was written by Stephen Grey for Reuters and published on 28 November 2018. The title of the article is: “Exclusive: Daphne murder accused details plot to kill for 150,000 euros”
Grey based his narrative on what one of the alleged hitmen, Vince Muscat, Il Koħħu, told the police and from what was reported in court. He also contacted Matthew Caruana Galizia for information. According to Grey, Muscat (il Kohhu) told the police and here I am quoting from Reuters that
“The gang began their work by watching Daphne’s movements, tailing her car…”.
The obvious question here is to ask which car did the gang follow? Indeed, have the car or cars usually used by Daphne been identified? Was the gang following the normal one or the one which Daphne Caruana Galizia leased from Percius? Was the car in which Daphne met her death leased by her or by someone else? For how long had Daphne Caruana Galizia been using this rented white car?
If what Sant, the witness, said is correct, the rented white Peugeot 108 was not the normal car that Daphne Caruana Galizia and her family used. Therefore, am I right to conclude that, when the hitmen were stalking her, Daphne was in fact using a different car or cars?
Grey’s article gives other interesting details and information and I quote:
“Muscat told investigators how, as surveillance continued, they followed Daphne on a family outing to the Phoenicia Hotel, by the gates of Malta’s capital Valletta, and to the airport when she and her husband, Peter, went on a foreign trip.”
Here again which car was the family using for its outing to the Phoenicia Hotel, the small white Peugeot or their usual car? Which car did they use to go to the airport for their trip abroad? Did they use the white Peugeot 108? I doubt it, being a very small car, its booth can hardly take the luggage of two persons. Reuters continues:
“Muscat said that Theuma had helped watch the couple’s car in the airport carpark to identify when she returned home. A member of Daphne’s family confirmed she had visited the Phoenicia Hotel on Aug. 17 and 26 and had travelled abroad with Peter from Sept. 16 to Sept. 21.”
But once again, which car is Muscat referring to here? Has the police investigative team requested a copy of the CCTV at the airport to establish which car the couple was using on the day when they were being followed by hitmen? Or is it now too late to get the footage? Incidentally, how long is the footage kept at MIA before it is deleted?
Grey writes on about what happened on the eve of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination in relation to the car. Grey is assuming that Muscat is always talking about the same car: the small white Peugeot 108.
“Daphne lived in the village of Bidnija where she had a house in a walled compound. She usually parked her car inside the compound. That posed an obstacle to her would-be killers, who needed access to her vehicle to place the bomb. In case they had to climb into her garden to reach the car, they devised a special leash to control the dog that ran around inside”.
But something particular happened according to Muscat on that evening.
“But on the evening of Oct. 15, 2017, Muscat and the Degiorgio brothers realized the car had been parked outside the gate to the compound.”
Therefore, the alleged hitmen had noticed that during that evening the car, which now there is no doubt is the small white Peugeot 108, was parked outside the house. But from the same report by Reuter, another important detail emerges about that car. The car was later used by Daphne’s son, Matthew Caruana Galizia. In fact, it was Matthew Caruana Galizia himself who told Reuters that he had used that car and returned back home during the night.
“In an interview with Reuters, Daphne’s son, Matthew, previously described how he had parked the car in the road that night, something he did quite often.”
Yet, the story by Reuters does not stop here. Reuters reports that the bomb was placed in the car in the early hours of the morning. Grey obtained this information from what the Police had said in court. “In the early hours of Oct. 16, police have said in court, the two Degiorgios and Muscat went to Bidnija to plant the bomb.”
The bomb was planted in the early hours of the morning we are told. How could the alleged hitmen be certain that Daphne would be using this car and not someone else? One needs to remember that this rented car was not being exclusively used by Daphne Caruana Galizia but also by other members of the family. How did the hitmen know that the car would be outside, as alleged by Muscat, when this was being used by memebers of the family, as Matthew himself confirmed with Reuters?
Then we have the last piece of evidence regarding the car. This is how allegedly the hitmen planted the bomb in the car. Once again, I am here quoting Reuters:
“The person briefed on Muscat’s confession said Muscat alleges Alfred broke into the car by levering open the rear-quarter window passenger side. With George watching out from a high vantage point, and Muscat watching the lane outside Daphne’s house, Alfred crept inside the car and put the bomb under the driver’s seat.”
But is it true that this was the way the bomb was placed inside the car? I am asking the question because, during last Tuesday’s compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech, a witness stated that he had picked up a Peugeot key from the road! I am sure that it was handed over to the police. Who has that key now? Did the police check whether it belonged to the car that Daphne was driving? Lacunæ, lacunæ and still more lacunae all the way!