No, it wasn’t anyone called Nicholas Grech

Published: March 20, 2014 at 5:40pm

malta today

Malta Today is running a story about Nicholas Grech, an Enemalta engineer who the police have told the press, in breach of all ethics and correct procedure, they plan to arraign over the Mosta ‘cat killings’.

The same story also quotes the police saying, at a press conference (they don’t even call press conferences over far more serious matters, and then they call one about this), that they don’t think he killed the cats because he himself had two pet cats at home.

But still they’re prosecuting him. Even though they don’t think he did it.

They said that they picked him up because they found some wire in his house “which he may have used to crucify the cats”. You know, because it’s so unusual for people to have wire at home (they should come to our house) and because each coil of wire is unique.

In its report, Malta today says:

MaltaToday is informed that the man was recently given a warning by superiors at Enemalta for leaking an internal email about the arrival of a delegation from Shanghai Power Electric, to the blog of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

I categorically deny this. That email was NOT leaked to me by Nicholas Grech or by anyone else who works at Enemalta. I will not say from whom I received it, nor can I be made to say, but I am prepared to swear on oath that it wasn’t him.

The person who did send it to me, however, had told me that an Enemalta engineer – he did not give me his name – had been given a punitive transfer by his superiors at the corporation, who had decided – on heaven knows what grounds – that he was the one who sent it to me.

And now that same man has been arrested by the police and will be charged with the Mosta cat-killings, even though the police themselves say that they don’t think he killed them, and that he keeps cats as pets.

I really don’t think it’s a coincidence. Taghna Lkoll.

Meanwhile, I have rung Malta Today and spoken to the editor, Matthew Vella, categorically denying that the email came from Nicholas Grech or anyone who works at Enemalta. He said that he would correct it immediately. All he has done instead is add my denial to the source’s statement. But as I told him, I’m the one who received it, so I am in the perfect position to know who sent it.




26 Comments Comment

  1. Clueless says:

    I hope this is not another of their infamous frame-ups.

  2. pirellu says:

    smells fishy indeed

  3. TinaB says:

    As soon as I read the news about the arraignment on timesofmalta.com I immediately had a feeling that there was something which did not seem quite right.

    As they say in Maltese ‘Lil min tafu tistaqsix ghalih.’

  4. Harry Purdie says:

    Such a sick bunch governing and policing this country.

  5. curious says:

    Please explain this to me.

    “The 2011 note mentions columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia, saying she spewed venom about him in the papers.” (Times of Malta)

    If he is the culprit, why would he have sent you an email alerting you to the arrival of the Shangai delegation and for which he was reprimanded?

    [Daphne – Exactly.]

  6. Jozef says:

    Yes, of course, because in Vella’s twisted little mind, those who write on this blog are cat-killers.

    An electrical engineer with a PC and wire at home. Very suspicious.

  7. Manuel says:

    It should have been the other way round. Matthew Vella should have phoned you FIRST to verify the information which Malta Today claims to have received.

    That is how editors and journalists of integrity usually go about it.

  8. Tinnat says:

    I do hope that your suspicion that they are picking on a mentally-disabled man for the sake of vengeance turns out to be wholly wrong.

    [Daphne – I doubt it. That bit about the leaked email wasn’t dropped into the story by coincidence. Nor was it a coincidence that the police searched his computer now. Also, the police have tried to frame me THREE TIMES in the last few years, and if they will do that to a person perfectly placed to fight back, what are they going to do to somebody who is mentally ill and wholly vulnerable? I wouldn’t trust them as far as I can throw them.]

  9. Makjavel says:

    This person needs a very good defence lawyer, not legal aid. He’s mentally ill and yet he is being set upon like this and it looks like he’s being framed for two reasons: 1. they want their revenge for an email he is supposed to have leaked, and 2. the police are under pressure to find the perpetrator of the ‘cat-killings’ and have found a suitable fall guy who is in no fit state to defend himself.

    What is their evidence against him, their justification for arresting and prosecuting him? A bunch of keys and a roll of wire, plus the gossip of some really nasty neighbours.

    Real evidence needs to be produced.

    If this person in real life has mental problems, how will he be in a position to defend himself? What chances, here, of a fair trial?

    This is very similar to the case of the prison guard who was accused of helping the man who shot Il-Fusellu escape from prison. They wrecked him. They framed him, and they destroyed him, because he was vulnerable and could not defend himself.

    Despicable.

  10. Aunt Hetty says:

    Is it a criminal offence to hang or nail to two pieces of wood, an animal who is already dead?

  11. Matthew Falzon says:

    They have no proof he killed the cats but the act of crucifying them is still despicable, and he admitted to the latter.

    [Daphne – Unlike you, I have had some very direct experience of the police, and do not take either their actions or their words at face value. Also, I am somebody who “admitted” to 11 crimes, including assaulting a senior police officer three times my size, in the presence of none other than the policeman who is now our Speaker of the House. And let’s not forget that only a year ago, two senior officers from, respectively, the Homicide Squad and the Criminal Investigation Department, were at my gate at 10pm and kept me at the station until almost 2am, because I uploaded a mocking video of Joseph Muscat on the eve of polling day. I have had other seriously negative experiences with the police, including an officer lying under oath on instruction from her superior to say that she had seen me do something I hadn’t done, when she wasn’t even there. There are good officers, but the bad ones, the lying, politically-motivated, revenge-driven scum, stop at nothing. So where the police are concerned, sorry, but I’m very cynical. And incidentally, no, I don’t think it is at all despicable to tie a dead cat to a piece of wood using wire. I think it’s sick and pointless, even if done as a joke, but it is not despicable and it is not a crime. It is no more despicable than putting a chicken in the oven, something I did yesterday evening.]

  12. ci says:

    In any case, what’s the relevance of the email leak to the charges being imputed to Nicholas Grech?

    [Daphne – It’s a dead give-away as to the real intentions of the ‘investigators’ when going for Grech’s computer.]

  13. CIS says:

    It is also unprofessional of Malta Today to publish the blogs sent to them insulting you. Were I the Editor, I would not publish such hatred in my newspaper.

    [Daphne – They love it. They’re cheap and tacky as hell, with a readership that reflects that.]

  14. Gahan says:

    How would you know the real name of a person sending you an email disguising himself under a false name?

    [Daphne – Why do you assume it’s a false name? Make no such assumption.]

    In my opinion, this person’s name should have been protected. What if he’s not found guilty of torturing the animals?

    [Daphne – The names of those who are tried in court must always be published, except in truly exceptional circumstances. The real problem here is that he is presumed guilty at the outset and has been treated as such by the police and the media. Also, he is mentally ill and should never have been subjected to this kind of exposure, which is truly disgusting, like something from China’s Cultural Revolution. You don’t bait and expose mentally ill people. It’s absolutely horrendous.]

    Xandir Malta’s news reminded me of the Communist “Justice” system where the TV report is used to put the accused in a very bad light. Today TVM started with the typical “After fourteen months of observation and monitoring, the police solved the killings of the fourteen crucified animals in Mosta….” Why take the accused to court when we have ex-Super one journalists running our justice system from Guardamangia?

    We read that the crucified animals were killed and frozen before being nailed. Did the police find any frozen cats in the accused’s freezer? If not, they got the wrong person.

    Sick people watch or happen to watch the killing of animals on the internet, so what’s wrong with this? People watch bull fights in Spain and Mexico should the Malta Police issue an international arrest warrant against these populations?

    To tell you the truth I would have been happier if the police caught the gang which dug a tunnel from a garage to the Swieqi HSBC bank. That would have been commendable. I would have applauded the corps for solving the mysterious killing/drowning of the tied up foreigner near Hay’s Wharf last December (?).

    I have noticed that when there are hot issues being discussed in the country, the public’s attention is drawn to unimportant ‘sensational’ cases the investigation of which is not yet concluded.

    We should get our priorities right: people before animals.

  15. Vigillanti says:

    Here we go again, back to the good old days of frame-ups and persecution. It sounds all to familiar, don’t you think?

  16. S says:

    Grech is not the same man in the video footage. So who is that man?

    What sort of “photos and other evidence connected with the case” did investigators find on Grech’s computer?

    Did he upload photos of himself as he carried out the ‘cat killings’?

    Also, the content of those notes found inside the animal carcasses could only have been penned by someone who knew Buhagiar inside out or by Buhagiar himself. Were the notes in Grech’s handwriting? That would be incontrovertible evidence, but the police did not mention it, which means the notes are not in Grech’s writing.

    The police seem more interested in Grech’s computer and in arresting him rather than solving the Mosta cat killer case.

    The fact that the police have two statements from Nicholas Grech whereby they say he confessed means nothing. Something just does not add up here.

  17. Disconcerted says:

    I’m disgusted by the coverage and ‘factual headlines’ regarding the death of a 15-year old girl, Lisa Zahra and the public cruxifiction of her friend, who is in ITU and cannot defend himself.

    Most respectable newspapers ban the comments section under such stories – for obvious reasons – and usually limit their reporting to the facts, excluding speculation completely. Not Malta’s. It’s disgraceful.

  18. Jozef says:

    Joseph the Magnanimous, and his fibbing gets worse.

    The utter lies carried in this article are beyond comprehension and belief. How Malta Today expects to be taken seriously beats me. It seems that newspaper does it on purpose to bury the real news right down the piece, with festering contradictions.

    An LNG vessel to be berthed at Marsaxlokk Bay will sail outside the harbour, once a gas pipeline connecting the Maltese island to the European mainland is in place, prime minister Joseph Muscat said in Brussels.

    This implies that a vessel with a regasifier on board makes the only economic sense. It’s absolutely ridiculous to separate the two, invest in a land-based regasifier, only to scrap it when the pipeline is ready.

    “Sail outside the harbour” can mean anything. Why not have it “sail outside the harbor” immediately? Surely 15-20kms of pipeline can be laid in time.

    There is no timeframe for the completion of a gas pipeline, although Malta will soon be tapping into an electricity interconnector to Sicily.

    Thank goodness for the interconnector then, and why would that be used only to a fifth of its capacity?

    A report on the gas pipeline is expected to be finalised by September 2014, paving the way for Malta to start working on an application for EU funds.

    Rubbish, the reports exist; the European Commission is finalising the whole interconnector strategy as we speak; and gas connections are to be finalised by 2015. Why not kick off the first 20kms to determine the route? You’ll understand that’s where most of the work is involved.

    But the gas pipeline project could take anything between eight to 10 years, Muscat said by way of an example, insisting that the government cannot wait any longer reduce utility tariffs.

    What utter bull: the tariffs can be reduced through the supply of cheaper electricity from Sicily, using the interconnector. Eight to ten years to lay a pipeline, and where is it he wants to land the pipeline in Sicily, outside Palermo getting there past the Calabria strait?

    Under Labour’s plan, a new 215MW gas plant will receive natural gas from an LNG tanker berthed inside Marsaxlokk, providing gas through a fixed price-purchase agreement with the ElectroGas consortium, which includes Azerbaijani state company SOCAR. The Delimara power station’s phase II turbines will also run on LNG.

    We don’t need a new power plant for an increase in capacity; we’ve got an interconnector – oh sorry, he plans to use one-fifth of that, just one-fifth.

    The changeover to gas at this stage – WITHOUT A PIPELINE – means having to increase capacity unnecessarily to beat the notorious shipping costs of liquefied natural gas, resorting, desperately, to plain economies of scale. One extra power station then. This is madness.

    Addressing journalists in Brussels where EU heads of states and governments have just concluded their spring summit, Muscat insisted that the LNG tanker at Marsaxlokk Bay would not pose any threat to the safety of the residents. He said that the Maltese government had “an agreement” with ElectroGas to remove the LNG tanker once the pipeline is in place.

    Oh really, what happens to the 18-year supply agreement? Wait, don’t tell me we’re at Socar’s mercy, and that the Azerbaijanis will be deciding where to get our gas and when the pipeline may be laid.

    But this will probably take several years to occur. Electrogas Malta is a consortium made by Germany’s Siemens, Azerbaijan’s SOCAR, UK-based Gasol and local investor group GEM Holdings.

    Several years, 18 years it is.

    In talks on climate and energy earlier in the morning, Muscat expressed his satisfaction that a Maltese proposal had been included in the Council conclusions: the specific mention of the Mediterranean region as one of Europe’s main sources of energy as it opens up to third countries for new energy sources.
    The recent political developments in Russia have now strengthened Europe’s resolve to diversify its energy sources and reduce its dependence on Russian gas and look for interconnections with third countries.

    Yes, that’s why EU funds will be made available pronto to close off the gas network around the continent, including Malta, meaning the process will be accelerated. Nobody intends to rely on Putin any longer, except Berlusconi, and he’s serving time at the moment.

    Muscat said Malta wants to diversify its energy sources beyond Italy and move to North Africa for a gas pipeline connectivity.

    Just when you feel he may finally make some sense, off he goes on another of his cunning plans. Please don’t go looking for pipelines which stretch more than the odd 100kms; it’s what renders ships feasible when length of delivery is related to volumetric flow.

    Strange thing, this capital outlay versus operational costs is it?

    Is the guy mad, or does he have some other agreement of which we’ve not been made aware? And anyway, go down that route and we can wave goodbye to EU funding.

    He also said the EU’s position in favour of Azerbaijan as one of the bloc’s primary source of energy was an element that would benefit Malta’s position, due to SOCAR’s involvement in the island’s energy project.

    Meaning he’s in favour of Aliyev, and no, it’s not Azerbaijan they’re looking at.

    The EU is considering a gas pipeline starting from Azerbaijan, passing through Albania, and into Puglia in Italy.

    This must be Malta Today: the pipeline is being built, delayed at the Puglia end thanks to Vendola and the Greens.

    And another one called the South route passing via Cyprus, that will carry both Turkey’s and Israel’s surface gas. Nice.

    Energy is also about building peace.

    Muscat also announced that an EU summit on energy in the Mediterranean region will be hosted in Malta. The summit, confirmed to take place in June, will be open to member states and countries in the Mediterranean. “This summit fits perfectly in our plans to see Malta as an energy hub: not only to source energy from Europe but also to eventually start exporting renewable energy to Europe,” Muscat said.

    He needs to explain what he means by ‘exporting renewable energy’. Don’t tell me it’s the fabled Chinese underpriced solar panels, because those are about to be restricted across the EU market.

    Italy and Germany calculate that those sort of tactics account for more than two-thirds of job losses in the industry. No product development, no party.

    • Tabatha White says:

      Jozef,

      I saw the tracing out as soon as the partners were plotted. When Azerbaijian then announced its “South of Italy” priority for the next 5 years, it could only have meant this.

      Also Hollande’s hand in the matter should be looked at again; where are the French forces looking after interests in Africa? What does one hear about and what does one not hear about? Why, for example, would they be in Algeria?
      It makes for another interesting tracing.

      Why is Libya being so obliging as to have the bulkier shiploads of immigrants leave just before an EU summit?

      What is Lukman’s history and survival fate, unlike that of the other Opec Heads bar the one?

      Money talks louder when it’s dirty.

      In my opinion Putin is in on this manoevering, not excluded, and the geopolitical picture of strategic occurrences is larger than what most are seeing.

      Europe would miscalculate not to give more consideration to what has happened in the The Crimea. This is the ignored leak in the dyke. The Crimea has always been a vital symbol and position.

      Putin’s new arrangement is taking hold.

  19. Gahan says:

    What utter bull: the tariffs can be reduced through the supply of cheaper electricity from Sicily, using the interconnector….WITHOUT EMITTING A CIGARETTE PUFF ON THE MALTESE SKY, may I add.

  20. Matthew S says:

    Hi Daphne,

    How are you so sure it’s not him? The man certainly sounds suspicious. How do you explain the home-made keys, the computer images and all the other things reported in the media?

    [Daphne – The title of my post refers to the leaked email, not to the cats. But as for the cats: I don’t trust the police. And this on the basis of long and varied personal experience. They lie, they make attempts at framing people, they are politically motivated and vindictive, they know no ethnics, they break the law, they lie under oath, and they do this with somebody like me, so imagine what they are capable of doing to a mentally ill man incapable of defending himself and telling them where to stuff their abuse. He didn’t even have a lawyer, for heaven’s sake.

    Home-made keys? If the police were to raid my house with a view to finding suspicious items they would probably find all the elements to make a bomb and break into a bank: it doesn’t follow that we make bombs and break into banks. It just means that we have a proper tool-room and lots of compounds, liquids and tools to make and repair things. Computer images? Of what? We weren’t told. My computer had folders upon folders of images of politicians. It doesn’t follow that I’m a fetishist about politicians or that I plan to harm them. ‘All the things reported in the media’ – well, you forget I’ve been at the receiving end of ‘all the things reported in the media’, so forgive me for being VERY cynical about media reports of what the police tell them. The media should be investigating the police not lapping up what the police tell them. Bunch of crooks. I pity those among them who are decent.]

    I don’t trust the new police commissioner one bit but, taken at face value, it sounds like Mr Grech might very well be the man the police are looking for.

    Has the media changed its reportage since yesterday? Nowhere do the news reports today show that the police are doubtful about the arraignment. According to reports, the police found much more than just wire.

    For the record, I hate the hell this vulnerable man is being put through, the media circus, the trial by media, the ridiculous press conference and the mob, egged on by the media, baying for blood, but all that said, I can’t be sure that it wasn’t him. Granted, the man in the video does not look like him but maybe the police have evidence which shows that he was also involved.

    I just want to know how you feel so certain that it’s not him.

    [Daphne – I’m not. As I said, the title refers to the leaked email, not to the cats. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they pounced on him just a few days after he was reprimanded by Enemalta bosses who thought he had leaked an email to me. Nor do I think it’s a coincidence that the police (it must have been the police) told Malta Today about that.]

  21. gaetano pace says:

    This episode reminds me of that tragic event when it was alleged that a man had walked into Mintoff`s Office in Castille and shot at him.

    The man was IMMEDIATELY rushed Mount Carmel Hospital and from then on it was HELL for him. His life was ruined. The case was not satisfactorily proven and doubts ruled over it.

    Once again we have the case of a HUMAN BEING in need of solidarity and understanding of his clinical needs. He is put on the media headlines which announced his appearance in court under arraignment.

    Then as if that was not enough it was stated that he was submitted to the Mount Carmel Hosptial, as if condemning him before being tried.

    I do believe that if at the stage of arraignment he was in need of clinical assistance, he was in the same state in the 48 hours of detention preceding the arraignment.
    Would it not have been more PRUDENT, more HUMAN if he were to be referred to clinical assistance before any arrest was made?

    The question arises, will this person be in a position to be mentally sane enough to undergo trial? A right that is given by law in such and similar cases.

    Why was the tying of dead cats to wood by an ailing man given the same importance as was the case of a presumed attempt on Mintoff’s life?

    Are we not aware that within the same span of time this news reached the media, a teenage girl, a young man in his 20s, a man in his 40s all lost their lives tragically?

    Was there not enough material for investigative journalists to involve in, explore and report upon? Are we more interested in seeing justice done with the feline kind than with human kind?

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