Vince Muscat gets 15 years after admitting to Daphne murder

Edwina Brincat, Bertrand Borg * il . Giustizia, Informazione

Il-Koħħu pleads guilty to all charges in Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case

Vince Muscat, known as il-Koħħu, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Muscat’s lawyer told a court on Tuesday that his client was registering an admission to all charges he faced in the case, in a momentous turning point for the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s 2017 assassination.

Judge Edwina Grima took note of that admission – a reversal of his previous not guilty plea – and asked him whether he wished to reconsider.

Muscat, however, stood firm.

When the judge asked him whether he wished to have the charges he was admitting read out to him, Muscat spoke out in court for the first time since his arraignment in December 2017.

“No need,” he told judge Grima.

Alfred and George Degiorgio, the two brothers who also stand accused of killing Caruana Galizia, sat nearby, their faces betraying no expression. They remained silent throughout the day’s hearing.

Muscat will serve a 15-year sentence and pay €42,000 in court expenses, after reaching a plea bargain deal with prosecutors to provide information about the murder.

Superintendent Keith Arnaud told the court that Muscat’s information could lead to further arraignments.

Suspected bomb suppliers arrested

As Muscat registered his admission, police officers raided an undisclosed location and arrested tal-Maksar brothers Adrian and Robert Agius and Jamie Vella.

Times of Malta has previously reported that Muscat was willing to name Robert Agius and Vella as the men who supplied the bomb used to kill Caruana Galizia.

Muscat was previously offered €1,500 per month as hush money to keep quiet about the two. His lawyer told Times of Malta last year that he had refused the offer.

Muscat has also secured a presidential pardon in exchange for information about the 2015 murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop, Times of Malta can reveal.

Ministers approved that pardon during a meeting held on Monday afternoon, ensuring Muscat will not face prosecution for his role in that crime.

Plea bargain

Muscat’s guilty plea comes one week after he withdrew a legal challenge to prosecutors in the case, breaking with the legal strategy adopted by the two other men accused of the murder, brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio.

Sources had previously told Times of Malta that Muscat has been cooperating with authorities in the murder case, in the hope of securing a reduced sentence after his bid for a full pardon was denied by cabinet last month.

Times of Malta 23/02/2021



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