The oil smuggling story resurfaces in a new book by Mark Camilleri

Mark Camillieri has just finished writing a book on what he claims are stories of serious corruption that hit Malta under Labour administration. I will not comment on his claims as I have yet to read the book. But in a preview written by the same Mark Camilleri, he refers to two separate cases of corruption. One refers to oil smuggling and the second to Electrogas.

He links the Electrogas issue to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. There is nothing new in this narrative except that the true reason for DCG murder has yet to be established once the ongoing proceedings come to a close. What I found interesting in his narrative regarding the oil smuggling case is that he links this story to Labour Minister Manuel Mallia. Camilleri writes as follows:

The oil-smuggling account is of particular interest to me. I have referred to the Darren Debono case as it had been mentioned in the compilation of evidence held against the Degiorgio brothers by their lawyer William Cuschieri. Cuschieri, in defence of his client, referred to a snippet from one of the recordings of Melvin Theuma, wherein the name of Arthur Azzopardi is also mentioned. I did not mention Arthur Azzopardi by name since Cuschieri only referred to the person as Arthur – no surname. But lawyer Arthur Azzopardi took my article as a direct reference to him and instituted a libel case.

What needs to be added to Mark Camilleri’s narrative is that Arthur Azzopardi started his legal career as a lawyer with Manuel Mallia. On one occasion, Arthur Azzopardi appeared in court with Jason Azzopardi as part of the same defence team.  When I started talking about these legal associations, I was hit by a number of legal actions against me. One instituted directly by Arthur Azzopardi and the other indirectly by Jason Azzopardi, in the name of the Caruana Galizia family.

It should be pointed out that Magistrate Montebello had ordered that Arthur Azzopardi’s name was not to be mentioned by the media. His name was frequently mentioned in the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech in connection with recordings of Melvin Theuma. Nevertheless, the lawyer’s name, on whom there was a ban by the courts, was revealed and made public by Manuel Delia in one of his articles in flagrant defiance of the court ban.

There is no doubt that Manuel Mallia is not involved in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, even if he was the subject of a number of articles by the murdered journalist. But there is also no doubt that Daphne Caruana Galizia was investigating oil smuggling more assiduously than the Electrogas deal. It seems, that the police were originally on the right track when they thought – and I had argued in one of my articles and about which Arthur Azzopardi instituted a libel case – that one of the motives for her murder is related to her investigation of this international racket.

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