‘Stay calm and truthful’, Muscat told Cardona

Economy Minister says journalists have tried to frame him


Joseph Muscat has told Economy Minister Chris Cardona to keep calm and “be truthful” in the wake of allegations by the Daphne Project.

The Economy Minister has been at the centre of controversy since reports emerged he was spotted speaking to a man accused of murdering journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The story was based on the account of two witnesses, who said they saw the minister drinking with the accused before and after the October 16 assassination.

Dr Cardona said he had spoken to the Prime Minister every day since the report emerged, adding Dr Muscat was “the person who decides to keep or fire me”.

He said the Prime Minister told him to “be truthful, say whatever you know, have trust in our institutions and keep calm”.

READ: ‘The more they lie about us, the more they strengthen us’

Dr Cardona was speaking to the Times of Malta after a visit to Ta’ Qali crafts village.

Allegations are a frame-up
He insisted the allegations were a “frame-up” by the consortium of 18 international media organisations making up the Daphne Project. When asked what interest international journalists from The New York Times, the Guardian and Le Monde had in framing him, he said he “would not know”.

The minister had told the consortium that he knew who some of the suspects in the case were, adding that the bar “welcomes patrons from all walks of life”.

Dr Cardona referred to the allegations at the annual general conference of the Labour Party this week. He said “the more they lie about us, the more strengthen us” and insisted that the party would be showing its strength through unity.

When Dr Cardona was asked if his comments would continue creating an “us and them mentality”, he argued his message was one of calm and moderation. “I addressed the conference in a way that strengthened the movement,” he said.

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