Two years after MaltaToday’s intensive investigation into the 1982 disappearance of accountant Lino Cauchi unearthed details previously unknown to the police, investigators have re-opened the murder file after receiving what may be new leads into the gruesome killing.
The police homicide squad is currently re-visiting all unsolved murder cases, some dating back to the 1970s. The motive for Cauchi’s murder was never established but articles appearing in this newspaper two years ago strengthened the theory that Cauchi’s tragic end was related to his work as an auditor and accountant.
Witnesses have confirmed that Lino Cauchi was present during heated meetings between developers and people close to former Public Work’s Minister Lorry Sant in December 1981. Cauchi is perpurted to have been the auditor of shady characters associated with the Labour government of the time, including Lorry Sant’s henchman Piju Camilleri.
It is believed that when Cauchi went missing he was in possession of a number of important documents which could have shed a bad light on a number of high profile individuals.
Lino Cauchi’s butchered body was discovered in a well at Buskett in 1985 and the remains were identified three years later by Australian forensic experts. Cauchi went missing in February 1982. Mystery still surrounds the events that occurred on that fateful day.
Cauchi’s last recorded movement was at around 6.30pm at his Valletta office, on 15 February 1982, after which no traces of his whereabouts have come to light. Cauchi’s wife Anna alerted the police of her husband’s absence the following day and on 17 February Lino Cauchi’s brief case was found forced open and abandoned in the vicinity of Chadwick Lakes.
Police investigations at the time led nowhere and it was only one year after Cauchi’s disappearance that the investigations were rekindled albeit following a dubious train of investigation. Cauchi’s wife, Anna was arrested and interrogated. She was never charged and was eventually released from police detention at the police depot after her next of kin, including Cauchi’s brothers waited outside the depot fearful that she might be harmed.
The investigation then went into deep freeze until the chilling discovery of sawn off body parts wrapped in black garbage bags were discovered in a well in the area known as Il-Bosk in Buskett in November 1985.
It took three years for forensic experts to identify the body parts as Lino Cauchi’s. During the nineties the investigation was transferred back and fro between the Attorney General and the inquiring magistrate countless times. Further police interrogations took place between 2001 and 2002 when new information related to Cauchi’s involvements in shady land deals that occurred prior to the 1981 election reached the authorities. Piju Camilleri was one of the persons interrogated by the police even if repeatedly denied knowing Cauchi.
The interrogations uncovered another layer in the mystery surrounding the accountant’s murder but did not lead the police anywhere nearer to prosecuting the culprit or culprits. Things seem to be stirring once again and Cauchi’s next of kin wait with baited breath for a new round of investigations that could hopefully shed new light as to why and who murdered their beloved one.