'Clear that 17 Black case is connected to murder'
MEP David Casa has called on the United Arab Emirates to fully cooperate with Maltese and European law enforcement on 17 Black.
In a statement, Mr Casa referred to the recent developments in the investigation of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder pointing out that it was now more clear than ever before that the 17 Black case was connected to the assassination of a journalist.
David Casa, the EPP spokesperson on Anti-Money Laundering within the Committee for Economic and Monetary Affairs, also forms part of the European Parliament Delegation to the Arab Peninsula that includes the UAE.
He said there were no longer any doubts as to the ultimate beneficial ownership of 17 Black, and of 17 Black’s connections to politicians at the highest level of power. However, the prosecution of those involved was most likely to succeed when information was transferred through official channels to be used in judicial proceedings.
Mr Casa said the transfer of information from the UAE had now become all the more crucial for prosecutions to be possible for the crimes that Daphne Caruana Galizia was in the process of uncovering at the time she was killed, including those involving the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.
“It is of grave concern that companies and bank accounts registered in the United Arab Emirates were used for such nefarious purposes. It is of even greater concern that there are questions with regard to the readiness of the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with authorities in Malta as well as with European law enforcement”, stated Mr Casa.
He said that in 2018 he had called on Dubai-based Noor Bank to investigate the bank account held by 17 Black. This had led to the freezing of $2 million found in that account.
The funds found in that account were consistent with what Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi were planning to receive from 17 Black during that period, Mr Casa said.
He said Ms Caruana Galizia was killed to prevent her from exposing criminal activity at the highest levels of power. Justice for Daphne must include an end to impunity for the very same crimes that she was killed to conceal.