Matthew Caruana Galizia’s hero was given a telling off on 8th October 2021 by Judge Lawrence Mintoff. Without cutting corners, Judge Mintoff told the Commissioner of Police loud and clear that the investigations in the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder were not carried out correctly. Also, the investigations concerning Keith Schembri are questionable.
It is to be borne in mind that the current Commissioner of Police, Angelo Gafa, was not in on this case from the beginning. The lead investigator from the day of the murder was Keith Arnaud. Therefore, Judge Mintoff’s criticism of the police was also meant for Arnaud.
Above all during this sitting, it was apparent that the Commissioner of Police was going round in circles in his replies to the Court. This is very serious. It is to be remembered that the Commissioner had said that the phone in his possession – belonging to Keith Schembri – had no data relevant to the murder ‘to date’.
So much so that while replying to the Court the Commissioner of Police tried to ridicule the defence lawyers. Now we have Judge Mintoff telling us that he is still waiting for all this data to be retrieved from this phone belonging to Keith Schembri. It appears that this is going to take a long time and the data has not yet all been retrieved.
Therefore, how come the Commissioner of Police already knew that there is no relevant information in the mobile concerning this murder, even though he was careful to add ‘to date’?
Judge Mintoff has once again shown us how lawyers coming from politics know how to be impartial far more than some judges and magistrates, who put up a facade of being apolitical. It is a known fact that Lawrence Mintoff comes from the Labour camp. It is also a known fact that there was a campaign endorsed by certain lawyers coming from the Nationalist Party against Lawrence Mintoff when he was appointed judge. These same lawyers today go about feigning to be loyal supporters of Daphne and justice. Nevertheless, the Judge did not hesitate to tell the Commissioner of Police, who incidentally was appointed by a Labour Government, that had he been running a serious police corps, he would have confiscated the computer Keith Schembri had in his office at Castille and sealed his office and found the famous lost mobile.
My key criticism of Jason Azzopardi has always been that he never put pressure on the police regarding Keith Schembri. The Deputy Advocate General of the Republic, Philip Galea Farrugia has never requested Keith Schembri to return before Magistrate Montebello so as to allow the defence to cross-examine him. And just in case anyone may have the bright idea that the fault lies with the defence team, the defence has no legal right at this stage to call up witnesses. Only the prosecution can.
In my view, Judge Mintoff’s decree was also a cold shower for Magistrate Rachel Montebello who was responsible for the compilation of evidence in this case.
It is being openly manifested that there are still judges who demand and want our Courts to operate correctly according to the Laws of the country.
We must remember that Arnaud was given a promotion and became Superintendent of Police. We must recall that I had written that he had been sent to run the Drug Section. The media of the Maltese bishops tried to denigrate me and wrote an article stating that Arnaud is so capable that he was even given the added responsibility of Drug Section besides homicide. Are the powers that be actually using their acumen? I doubt it from the results we are witnessing.
It remains a fact that the police force investigating this vile murder has not been relaying a good impression. In conclusion, finally, there has been a judge who is not bothered with calling a spade a spade.