Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 289

Malta: MEPs conclude fact-finding visit to assess Caruana Galizia murder inquiry

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 dicembre 2019

• MEPs deeply concerned that delayed resignation of Prime Minister Muscat poses a risk, real or perceived, to integrity of the murder investigation
• Cautiously welcome police progress in murder investigation, but concerned about lack of inquiry into money laundering and corruption connected cases, particularly on Schembri and Mizzi
• Urge the Commission to immediately engage in a rule of law dialogue with Malta
Following recent developments in the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017, MEPs visited Malta between 3-4 December to take stock of the situation on the ground.
The delegation of MEPs, led by Sophie in ‘t Veld (Renew Europe, NL), met the Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat and other government members, the police, judicial authorities, the opposition, representatives of civil society and journalists, as well as members of the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia, amongst others. This is the third time an EP delegation has visited Malta to inquire into the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia and the state of the rule of law.MEPs remain unconvinced that Prime Minister Muscat has acted judiciously in the last few weeks, including in his decision to remain in office until mid-January. Throughout their meetings, especially with the Prime Minister, they stressed that the negative perceptions of the government’s actions, as well as the falling trust and credibility, were not being addressed. They underlined that it is of paramount importance that the investigations continue without undue interference and that justice is served. In this regard, the delegation stressed that the next 40 days will be crucial, also for trust in the integrity of the investigation. MEPs remain concerned that, with Prime Minister Muscat in place, that integrity is at risk.
Following a meeting with high-ranking police officials and investigators, MEPs acknowledged the progress in investigating the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, while recognising that the case is far from being closed. They also expressed their worry that the investigations into related money laundering and corruption cases have not advanced, especially with regard to Keith Schembri, the former Chief of Staff of Prime Minister Muscat, and Konrad Mizzi, the former Tourism Minister. The delegation reiterated that Europol needs to be closely involved in all aspects of the investigation.Finally, MEPs noted that a reform process is underway addressing amongst other things, the controversial constitutional role of the Attorney General and the current system of judicial appointments. However, they underlined that persistent threats to the rule of law in Malta cannot be precluded. In this regard, MEPs welcomed Commission Vice-President Jourová’s comments, stating that Malta’s failure to enact judicial reforms could serve as a basis for triggering an Article 7 procedure. They called on the European Commission to start a dialogue with Malta in the rule of law framework immediately.

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