Credit: Credit: Edin Pasovic / OCCRP

Records Show Slain Reporter’s Source Called Maltese Minister

New reporting on the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia reveals that a man she wrote about in connection to a smuggling case called a Maltese minister and one of the currently detained murder suspects right after he spoke to her.

MaltaToday and the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported this week that Pierre Darmanin, 42, spoke to Caruana Galizia in 2016 and, after hanging up, called Maltese Minister of Economy Chris Cardona and one of the detained murder suspects, Alfred Degiorgio.

The reporting on Darmanin’s phone traffic has emerged a week before the one-year anniversary of Caruana Galizia’s death in a car bombing in Malta.

The telephone records are now with Maltese Magistrate Neville Camilleri. The content of the calls is unknown, but Caruana Galizia blogged that Darmanin had called her about an Oct. 31, 2016 story on a fishing vessel known as the Silver King.

“The vessel… was impounded by Customs three years ago and Darmanin was named in a police/customs investigation into a diesel-smuggling ring,” Caruana Galizia wrote.

Darmanin called to say he had sold the Silver King and that although he was investigated, he was never charged with smuggling, Caruana Galizia wrote.

According to MaltaToday, Darmanin telephoned the minister and the suspected killer “shortly after.”

Three men, the brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio and Vince Muscat, have been charged in connection with the murder, but so far any mastermind behind the crime has yet to be arrested.

In the wake of the slaying, a consortium of 45 journalists from 18 news organizations led by Forbidden Stories banded together to complete Caruana Galizia’s work and shine a light on the criminal underworld she documented in her blog, Running Commentaries.

Minister Cardona issued a statement on Monday saying “a number of media outlets have published allegations about me which are speculative, and distort the facts, in order to suit a particular narrative they are persistently trying to push.”

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