Current Affairs
Former Police Commissioner said he does not recall ever seeing such a powerful bomb

In the history of Maltese homicides, there have been seven murders carried out using car bombs. Five of these took place over the last three years. No case has ever been solved and no one has ever been brought to justice, while the Police investigations are still open. spoke with the former Police Commisioner and a forensic expert about the investigations into these cases which were described as being very difficult to solve because the explosives destroy a lot of the evidence.

Forensic expert Dr Anthony Abela Medici believes that the bomb used in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia was made from around one kilo of military explosives made from semtex in the shape of a small block, armed wth a detonator and activated by a remote-controlled electronic signal, probably a mobile phone.

Former Police Commissioner, John Rizzo, said that in his 42 years in the force, he does not ever remember seeing such a powerful bomb as the one which killed Daphne Caruana Galizia and that the investigators have a very difficult job to solve the case. After he explained that it was too early to establish a motive,  Mr Rizzo refuted the possiblity that whoever carried out this macrabe act had ever threatened her.

“Whoever sends threats often does so to intimidate and scare you, and does not intend to actually carry out the threat, because whoever wants to do something is not going to tell you so beforehand, as otherwise you will lie in wait and catch the person,” Rizzo said.

Mr Rizzo said that in the 12 years he spent leading the Force, he remembers a period where Mrs Caruana Galizia had permanent police protection outside her home. “We used to provide what we call ‘fixed point duty’, although I did not like describing it like that but preferred ‘protection duty’. I remember there was a time when she refused protection but when I used to explain to her why I wanted her to have protection for her own good and also for my sake so that I would have peace of mind, she used to understand my point. Lately we had come to understand each other very well. ”

Dr Abela Medici said that over the last 60 years he remembers at least five occasions when the authorites had asked for foreign expertise and investigators to help them solve complicated cases, including that of the murder of Karin Grech and the Egyptair hijacking in the 1980s.

“The added value which we get when we bring in the FBI is that one, we can identify the explosives which were used and two, if they might manage to find traces of the triggering device which set it off and three, if you are lucky you will find part of the sim card so that they can re-build the conversations which may have taken place using that sim card…they have the ability to do this,” said  Dr Abela Medici.

The former Commisisoner said that it was very important for foreign investigators to understand the characteristics and local context while Dr Abela Medici explained how the investigators are facing a daunting task because the explosives would have destroyed much of the evidence which might shed light on who placed the bomb.