The Trial of David Gatt: why wasn’t the testimony of Commissioner John Rizzo taken into consideration?

In another blog, I wrote:

“Back in 2001 John Rizzo was then Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). ‘Information came to me that David Gatt was communicating with one of the suspects who was later charged with the theft. Not only did he communicate more than once, but he communicated in such a way so as to give certain information as to how the suspect should act to avoid police suspicion,’ he told the court.

Rizzo said the G4S heist suspects were meeting near the Siggiewi cemetery. ‘We went to check on them. These people left the site and we – the police – followed them and I gave the order to stop them on Triq 13 December, near the Republic monument. There were two Mazda 323s, one blue, one red and one registered in the name of Carmel Camilleri, known at that time as ‘Pissipellu’. And there was George Degiorgio ‘ic-Ciniz’, from Qawra. There were three other notorious persons: there was George Briffa ‘l-Piccoli’ and Degiorgio’s brother Alfred ‘il-Fulu’.”

Then Commissioner John Rizzo had also stated that police “had monitored Carmel Camilleri ‘il-Pissipellu’ and George Degiorgio, together with Briffa and Degiorgio’s brother Alfred ‘il-Fulu’ in connection with the G4S heist. Rizzo had told the court that his ‘reliable information’ – because the Security Service transcripts were not deposited in court at first – was that Gatt had called Briffa to tell him that they found a piece of ‘the Cadbury chocolate’, ostensibly a code to indicate the police had put together part of the puzzle.”

My first question is why wasn’t his testimony taken into consideration? It was very detailed and factual with the names of all those involved.

Commissioner Rizzo had facts in hand and something to prove: the Security Service Transcripts when the phone calls were tapped. He also stated how investigations were being carried out.

According to John Rizzo, “Gatt had been intercepted in phone calls the Security Services were tapping from the G4S heist suspects. He had said about Gatt’s conversations with George Briffa: ‘Not only did he communicate more than once, but he communicated in such a way as to give certain information as to how the suspect should act to police suspicion.’

So, I am going to ask again another multi-million dollar question: why weren’t these transcripts presented in the trial?

Malta Today had reported that: “But the very transcripts would eventually be removed from the court record, after the court upheld an application from Gatt’s defence team because the warrant for the telephone interceptions was never presented in court: a procedural bungle that might have cost the prosecution its case.” Really? Or was this tampered with so that justice is obstructed? Do you smell rats? On whose order were these telephone interceptions never presented in court? Were they removed from court because they carried clear evidence? Where are these transcripts now? Can they be raised from the dead?

I am convinced that Commissioner John Rizzo was of great integrity, who lived up to his responsibilities and who, in this case, did his job excellently together with other members of the police force. This is why, I had also stated, in another piece, that I had no issue with the promotion of his son.

An ex-police commissioner, a strong testimony, evidence which ‘coincidentally’, was not presented in court. By whose magic wand?

And yet Gatt’s defence counsel Joseph Giglio complained that most of the evidence being presented by the prosecution was irrelevant to the case asked for the “true evidence” to be speeded up, so that witnesses “more relevant to the case” give their testimony.” And yet, it was thanks to the application of the same defence team, with the blessing of the court, which prevented the telephone interceptions from being presented. Ħalluna naqra!

Lady Justice, may I have a word please? When an accused happens to be a freemason, what are the odds that he hires lawyers for his defence who happened to be his ‘brothers’ in the fraternity of aprons and rituals? Is this how matters are dealt with, in our courts, dear Lady Justice? And if yes, what are the benefits reaped?

Malta is so small. Same crimes. Same criminals. Same names coming up. Same building with the stairs. Same ‘mishaps’. Same village lawyer. Same David Gatt.

And yet he was acquitted from our courts, and the mind continues to boggle.

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