The public investigation into the murder of the Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia must not be stopped. That is what CDA MP Pieter Omtzigt writes in a letter to the Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela, which is also printed on the front page of all newspapers in Malta.
Omtzigt has been appointed by the Council of Europe as special rapporteur to investigate the murder and its aftermath. He found serious flaws in the Maltese rule of law.
Galizia died in October 2017 as a result of a bomb attack on her car. The 53-year-old investigative journalist wrote a lot about corruption cases in Malta. She often referred to politicians, including the then Prime Minister Muscat and some of his ministers.
“After a lot of fuss, a public enquiry into the murder was launched a year ago,” explains Omtzigt. “Ministers were also called upon to testify, including Muscat. This poses many problems for the current Prime Minister, who is now attempting to halt the investigation prematurely
According to Prime Minister Abela, the investigation will be halted in December if it is not completed by then, due to unnecessary delay. However, according to Omtzigt, there is no unnecessary delay and the Prime Minister does not have the power to determine the duration of the investigation.
“It is not for the Prime Minister of a government under investigation to determine the scope of that investigation or to question its accuracy, writes Omtzigt in the letter. According to the Special Rapporteur, there is political interference in a judicial process if Abela stops the investigation. “And that is highly undesirable
Omtzigt hopes that the published letter will increase international pressure to complete the investigation. “Otherwise I will write in my final report that Abela has obstructed the investigation and that may have political consequences for him in Europe Abelas predecessor, Muscat, resigned after protests in Malta and heavy criticism from Omtzigt.