The failure of Maltese authorities to identify the masterminds behind the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia raises questions about the rule of law in Malta, according to a report adopted today in Paris by the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
PACE appointed a Special Rapporteur on this matter, Pieter Omtzigt (EPP), who has compiled a report titled “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law, in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the adoption of this report. “We call on Maltese authorities to implement the report’s recommendations without delay, in the interest of achieving justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia”, said today Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ general secretary.
In its conclusions, the report calls on Maltese authorities to establish an independent public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. “The Maltese authorities must also ensure that the police and magisterial inquiries into the cases of corruption and money laundering concerning prominent public figures, and into the wider circumstances of the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia, are expedited,” says the report.
The report states that there is compelling evidence that Mr Keith Schembri, Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister, and Dr Konrad Mizzi, the energy minister, “are involved in several serious cases of abuse of office, corruption and money laundering. They have refused to take political responsibility by resigning. They continue to benefit from the protection of Prime Minister Muscat. (…) Those at the heart of Malta’s government, and others such as Mr Tonna (Brian Tonna, owner of accountancy firm Nexia BT) who are closely associated with them, enjoy impunity. At the same time, the Maltese authorities are unable to conduct timely proceedings even against the suspected hitmen who killed Ms Caruana Galizia, let alone whomever ordered the assassination,” says the report.
Picture credit: IFJ.