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

press

(Bank Phrom, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


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.

Speaking at the end of the delegation’s visit, Ms in ‘t Veld said:

“We came to Malta with deep concerns, and we leave not reassured. The rule of law under pressure, impunity for crimes, widespread corruption, journalists intimidated and harassed, the right of assembly thwarted and politics descended into toxic bipartisanism. Malta is a part of Europe; what affects Malta, affects Europe. Europe must monitor this situation closely, and press for far-reaching constitutional reforms. We stand by the people of Malta, who deserve clean government and officials with integrity.”

The delegation comprised of the following MEPs:

A press conference took place at the end of the mission, available here. The video will also be available later in EbS+, together with other audiovisual material from the mission.

Background

Following visits to Malta and Slovakia in the aftermath of the murders of the Maltese blogger and journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and the Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, the Civil Liberties Committee set up its Rule of Law Monitoring Group in June 2018. Having looked into concerns about the progress of the investigations, as well as allegations of harassment, intimidation, corruption and fraud, the final report identified serious shortcomings in the rule of law.

In the 9th parliamentary term, the Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group will monitor and report on relevant issues across all member states until 31 December 2021. Newly arising issues can be added to the DRFMG scope if Members representing a committee majority agree.

The Monitoring Group continues to review the situation in Malta. In its latest meeting on 28 November, the DRFMG discussed the latest developments in Malta and received an update from Europol regarding the support given by the EU Agency. It reiterates its resolution from March this year, in particular the need for full clarity and for justice to be done in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Dangerous Trumpism in the Middle East with an anti-European edge

Scores killed in ‘barbaric’ attack on Mali village, UN chief urges restraint, calls for ‘dialogue’ to resolve tensions

How to fight back against misinformation and polarization

Responding to the anger

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe needs decisive progress for stronger cybersecurity”, EU Commissioner Gabriel highlights from Brussels

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

JADE Spring Meeting 2015- Europe’s Junior Entrepreneurs together for 4 days of networking, workshops and forward thinking

Customs Union: Fake and potentially dangerous goods worth nearly €740 million stopped at EU customs in 2018

UN rights expert ‘strongly recommends’ probe by International Criminal Court into ‘decades of crimes’ in Myanmar

In this Tokyo cafe, the waiters are robots operated remotely by people with disabilities

MEPs adopt plan to keep 2020 EU funding for UK in no-deal Brexit scenario

Green light for VAT overhaul to simplify system and cut fraud

“The markets have moved on renewables, policy makers must keep up”, A Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Do not take the EP’s consent on MFF for granted, says Budget Committee Chair

Why our future relies on more inclusive and transparent innovation

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

Eurozone’s bank resolution mechanism takes a blow

Fair and Simple Taxation: Commission proposes new package of measures to contribute to Europe’s recovery and growth

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

Here’s what keeps CEOs awake at night (and why it might be bad news for your next job)

Further reforms in Sweden can drive growth, competitiveness and social cohesion

Medical workforce migration in Europe – Is it really a problem?

COVID-19: What the evidence so far means for containment

Women lose most from the climate crisis. How can we empower them?

Why protesters disrupted London Fashion Week

The growing cyber-risk to our electricity grids – and what to do about it

What companies gain by including persons with disabilities

EU leads the torn away South Sudan to a new bloody civil war

What happens after you recover from coronavirus? 5 questions answered

#TwitterisblockedinTurkey and so is Erdogan

In aftermath of Libya airstrike deaths, UN officials call for refugees and migrants to be freed from detention

UN envoy commends successful conclusion of Guinea-Bissau presidential election

Zero carbon buildings are possible following these four steps

COVID-19: Maintaining the teaching experience for students whilst delivering teaching virtually

Why economic growth depends on closing the interview gap

The European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

Children in crisis-torn eastern Ukraine ‘too terrified to learn’ amid spike in attacks on schools

Japan to invest in euro values

Subsidiarity and Proportionality: Task Force presents recommendations on a new way of working to President Juncker

Athens urged to fast track asylum seekers amid island shelters crisis – UNHCR

Accountability for atrocities in Myanmar ‘cannot be expected’ within its borders – UN investigator

GSMA Mobile 360: Connecting Cities, Connecting Lives, Connecting Europe

Why the next 4 months are crucial to the future of the ocean

Venezuela: MEPs call for free and fair elections in the crisis-torn country

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

Questions & Answers on vaccine negotiations

ECB to support only banks not Peoples

UN chief highlights action across borders for ‘stable and prosperous Eurasia’

Will we join hands for a tomorrow without antimicrobial resistance?

Spread Her Wings: Let Her Fly

FIFA and UN kick off healthy living campaign, to harness global game’s ‘huge potential’

Corporate tax remains a key revenue source, despite falling rates worldwide

REACT-EU: EU support to mitigate immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis

Warsaw wins 2020 Access City Award for making the city more accessible to citizens with disabilities

Turbocharging scientific discovery: with bits, neurons, qubits – and collaboration

FROM THE FIELD: India’s plastic waste revolution

Parliament’s interparliamentary delegations established

Black babies more likely to survive when cared for by Black doctors, suggests new study

The climate and COVID-19: a convergence of crises

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s