The day after the fatal explosion in Bugibba, an autopsy was carried out on the body of the victim, John Camilleri and investigators continued to try and piece together what happened with the hope of finding out the motive behind this crime. It appears that the Police are convinced that the motive may have been the business in which Camilleri was involved. What is of great concern to the investigators is the force of the explosives which were used and that whoever carried out this crime had no qualms about activating the bomb within a residential area.
Malta’s Police Force has a negative record when it comes to investigating crimes involving car bombs. From research carried out by Television Malta, not one of the five murders carried out in this way has been solved. No one has been arraigned in court about the 18 car bombs which have been reported in the last ten years, six of them this year.
In the history of homicides in Malta, five of the investigations regarding car bombs are still open and no-one has ever been brought to justice about any of these cases.
8 March, 1969
The first murder in Malta by a car bomb took place almsot 50 years ago in March 1969 in Paola. The victim was Emanuel Micallef who had just returned from Australia. The bomb was placed in his car, an Austin Mini. With the force of the explosion, passengers on a bus which happened to be passing from the same road were also injured.
15 March, 2001
The second homicide of this type which is also still unsolved was the murder of Stephen Said by means of a car bomb in March 2001. As soon as the man got into his car which was parked in his driveway in Marsascala, the bomb which had been placed underneath the car, exploded. The victim died less than three hours later in the hospital.
1 June, 2014
Thirteen years later, in June 2014, a bomb exploded in a car belonging to a man from Għaxaq who was driving towards Marsaxlokk. Darren Degabriele died five days later. His girlfriend who was a passenger in the car had a lucky escape and was only slightly injured.
16 January 2016
Another homicide very similar to the preceding one took place this year. Martin Cachia was killed by means of a car bomb while he was driving on the Marsascala bypass. The bomb was underneath the driver’s seat and after it exploded, the car keep going until it stopped several metres further down on the side of the road.
31 October, 2016
The latest fatal car bomb explosion took place in a residential area while business man John Camilleri, aged 67 was driving his vehicle in Bugibba. Although the ultimate effect was like the four previous cases, this particular explosion was very powerful. This was evident from the condition of the vehicle.
The use of explosives offers a great challenge to investigators. From information obtained by Television Malta from the Police, over the last ten years there were 18 cases where car bombs were used. The target of these attacks were residences, vehicles, boat houses and an office. In these cases, three men died, all due to car bombs. A further eight people were injured, half of them due to car bombs, three people were injured by the bomb placed near the Transport Malta Office in Sa Maison and one person where the bomb was placed next to a residence. The Police confirmed that the bomb cases which have taken place over the last ten years are still being investigated.
One third of the explosions over the last ten years took place this year. Out of these six cases, two involving car bombs resulted in deaths. Another car bomb exploded on 26 September which had been placed underneath a van being driven on Aldo Moro road in Marsa. Three people were injured including the driver, Josef Cassar, 35 who was in intensive care but has now been released from the hospital.
In January there was another bomb which exploded in front of garage at a residence in Xagħra. Businessman Sandro Ciliberti and his partner, who live at this residence, were not injured. A bomb placed near a boathouse and another placed near a residence did not leave any victims.