Last Sunday (20.06.21), Malta Today carried an article on its second page regarding Glenn Bedingfield’s recent revelations in Parliament, adding other details that did not come out in Bedingfield’s speech.
The newspaper confirmed that on the request of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family, all the data on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s laptop has been erased. This means that the hard disc was formatted so that no extraction of data could take place. We are even assured that the whole family – and by the whole family it is understood to mean the father and his three sons – went through all Daphne Caruana Galizia’s emails and data before sending the laptop to the German Police and eventually requesting the German Police to delete it.
The newspaper adds that, in the opinion of the family, there was nothing of relevance on her computer to connect with her murder. If that is so, why on earth did they send it overseas? Since when has the police started allowing relatives of victims to decide what is relevant or not, especially when we are talking of murder and there were insinuations that this was the case of femicide? Has our police force become that dotty? Has Malta not experienced murder cases committed by close relatives?
So we have here the Caruana Galizia family saying that there was nothing of relevance so much so that they even chose a country that destroys the memory and hard drive thanks to a law particular to that country! In fact, the Caruana Galizia family chose to send the computer to the Bundespolizei where according to German law when the authorities i.e. the courts, the police, or the family or owners of the computer do not make a formal request, the computer is destroyed if there is a request for such an action by the owners of the laptop. German police never received a proper request from any quarter for this data to be preserved.
However, there are some reservations from my end. While I can never have any doubt that the Federal German police have acted according to their country’s laws, I have been asking myself how would I act or react in such circumstances? Would I not first make a copy of the contents of my mother’s computer before sending it overseas? And my answer is yes. Definitely, I would have kept a copy and I can give you several valid reasons as to why I would have done so. But let us move on.
In all good thrillers and detective novels, the first thing the police on the scene do is to impound all that could have relevance to the murder. Why did the police and the inquiring magistrate not make any effort to confiscate anything that could be truly crucial to the murder, including all laptops and electronic equipment in Daphne’s house in Bidnija? Malta Today goes on to remind us that the magistrate in question, who should have asked for the data was Antonio Vella, a close friend of lawyer Jason Azzopardi, when midway through this investigation Vella was appointed judge. Vella was appointed as the inquiry magistrate following the objections presented by the Caruana Galizias to Consuelo Scerri Herrera investigating the case. It should be stressed that the family did not object to Vella being the investigating magistrate of Daphne’s murder.
At some point, I am afraid that somebody will have to be held to account for these games. As the old maxim goes – errare humanum est, sed persevere diabolicum – to err is human but to persist is diabolical.