Police silent on Luqa plane crash, except to say that investigations are ongoing
The police have remained silent on investigations into the plane crash which occurred on 24 October in Luqa, except to say that investigations and a magisterial inquiry are still ongoing.
The plane crash saw five French nationals lose their lives, and speculation regarding their reason for being in Malta quickly spread. The official line, as stated by the Prime Minister in Parliament following the incident, is that the French nationals were in Malta as part of a surveillance operation occurring under the French Customs Department, relating to trafficking routes. He did not, however, say whether they were directly employed by the Customs Department or were employees of another French department.
Recent news reports said that a French investigative team came to Malta and were on the site of the crash.
This newsroom asked the police whether a joint Maltese-French investigation has been launched, who was in charge, whether the investigators who came to Malta were part of the local investigation, what French department they were from, and who they were.
The police, in response to all the above questions, replied: “Police investigations into the case, besides a magisterial Inquiry, are still ongoing.”
There was also speculation that the plane was meant to be heading to Misurata, Libya, however the Maltese Prime Minister had previously denied this, saying that there was another plane which was heading to Misurata, Libya which might have created the confusion.
The Prime Minister also previously addressed the speculation that the plane was being used to spy, saying only that it was going to gather intelligence, through the French customs department, to see who the people trafficking migrants and drugs are, as well as their routes. “The information we have is that these were flights that did not land in other countries, and that they were being used to gather the information regarding trafficking.” French newspapers have reported, that inquiries are also ongoing in France.
According to Le Quotidien, a newspaper based in Luxembourg, CAE Aviation, the company the plane belonged to, often provides its services to French intelligence agencies, NATO and the EU. It also reported that the company’s other planes were grounded and being tested.