After 38 years, in August 2020, Lino Cauchi’s heirs, his widow and son, assisted by, assisted by Iuris Advocates, filed constitutional proceedings against the State requesting that the Court declares the disappearance of Lino Cauchi a result and consequence of the political climate reigning in Malta at the time related to professional services he rendered to individuals an politicians in the turbulent times of 1981, requesting confirmation that the State failed to protect the life of Lino Cauchi, failed to carry out a timely and legitimate investigation in breach of the victim and his heirs fundamental human rights to Life and Private Family Life.
On the 15th of February 1982, Lino Cauchi, a prominent accountant at the time, left his home in Santa Venera early in the morning and never returned. His then pregnant wife Anna Cassar, immediately concerned, informed family members and began a search. The following morning, on the 16th of February 1982, Anna Cassar informed Police officials that her husband was missing. His wife stressed that her husband was not a habitual absentee, however nonetheless, the Police refused to investigate the absence.
Various factors throughout the years militated to a violent disappearance, notably the discovery of his brief case found, the day after his disappearance, forced opened in a field, blood stains found on Lino Cauchi’s brother’s car a few days after his disappearance, the victim’s life insurance policy that had doubled a few weeks before his disappearance, as well as the crucial information of meeting that took place on the 8th of December 1981, wherein Lino Cauchi was threatened by a persons extremely close to a Minster of the Government of the day, all factors leading towards the probability of foul play, however yet again, there were no further investigations.
A proper investigation did not even materialise in 1985, when his butchered remains were found in a shallow well in the country side. Once it was determined that the remains belonged to Lino Cauchi, a Magisterial Inquiry was opened, however over the course of the past 4 decades, no proper investigation materialized.
On the 26th of January 2023, 41 years after the murder of Lino Cauchi, the First Hall Civil Court (Constitutional Jurisdiction) determined that:
• The disappearance of Lino Cauchi was a result and consequence of the turbulent and violent political climate and due to the services he rendered to the individuals in politically violent and abusive circles in 1981.
• The Court upheld the family’s first request and declared that the State failed to protect the life of Lino Cauchi after his disappearance on the 15th of February 1982 as well as after the discovery of his remains on the 15th of November 1985.
• The Court further declared that the State also failed to carry out a timely, propitious and legitimate investigation as expected in a functioning State and this in breach of Lino Cauchi’s fundamental human rights.
The heirs were awarded the sum of €615,000
For further information on human rights contact Dr Elena Fenech, Dr Peter Fenech or any other member of Iuris Advocates.