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European Commission ‘horrified’ at targeted attack on Daphne Caruana Galizia

The European People’s Party (EPP) called on the commission to ‘make sure that a deep thorough investigation is conducted’

Staff Reporter
17 October 2017, 3:19pm
The European Commission said it was horrified by the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia
The European Commission said it was horrified by the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia
The European Commission this afternoon expressed its ‘horror’ at the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia in a car bombing yesterday, while condemning the "targeted attack" against a member of the press.

In a statement on behalf of commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, a spokesman for the commission praised Caruana Galizia, describing her as a pioneer of investigative journalism in Malta. 

“We are horrified by the fact that the well-known and respected Maltese journalist Mrs Daphne Caruana Galizia lost her life yesterday in what was seemingly a targeted attack,” said the commission.

It said her ability to trigger debate was a testament to the success of her reporting and her dedication to the pursuit of truth.

“President Juncker and the European Commission condemn this attack in the strongest terms possible,” said the commission.

“The right of journalist to investigate, as uncomfortable questions and report effectively is at the hear of our values and needs to be guaranteed at all times. We trust now that justice will be brought even if this will not be enough to right this wrong.”

The commission expressed its condolences with the Caruana Galizia family and the Maltese people.  

Concerns on deteriorating situation in Malta ‘entirely founded’ – EPP

The European People’s Party (EPP) similarly said that the silencing of a journalist through murder represented a “dark day for democracy”.

“A free nation and full member of the European Union can and should not allow such shocking events to occur. We ask for a full inquiry,” said the EPP in a statement.

Moreover, it said that Caruana Galizia’s killing was “tragic proof” that the concerns regarding the “deteriorating situation in Malta”, which it said it had expressed repeatedly over the pat months, were “entirely founded”.

The EPP Group said Caruana Galizia was known internationally for her hard stance against corruption and organised crime.

“She was a local journalist who revealed the Panama Papers scandal that exposed the Maltese Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and the then Maltese Energy Minister’s secret companies abroad.”

The group concluded by insisting that the European Commission take immediate action and to ensure that a “deep and thorough investigation” is conducted on the case and that those responsible are quickly brought to justice.

“We also request an urgent statement by the Commission on intimidation of the press and the protection of media freedom in Malta at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week,” said EPP Group chairman Manfred Webber at the European Parliament today.

‘Everything possible must now be done to find those responsible for this heinous crime’ – S&D Group

The Socialists and Democrats Group said that Caruana Galizia’s murder “caused a wave of emotion and indignation across Europe”.

“We strongly condemn this barbaric attack and express our condolences to her family and friends. Many members of our group working on the inquiry committee into the Panama Papers had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Caruana Galizia in Malta,” said the S&D Group.

“Her unrelenting work as a blogger and an independent journalist to expose corruption was praised by all.”

As Socialists and Democrats, the group said it firmly stood firmly in support of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. “We must do all we can to protect whistle-blowers and journalists working to shine a light on wrongdoing.”

Labour MEPS ‘strongly condemn’ attack

In a separate statement issued this afternoon, Labour Party MEPs Alfred Sant, Miriam Dalli and Marlene Mizzi, said they “strongly condemned the brutal killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia”.

“It’s a killing that attacks freedom of speech, a principle that as a nation we have worked hard for, and the freedom journalists should have to carry out their work without fear or favour, a principle that is enshrined in Maltese laws,” said the MEPs.

They said they expected investigators to be given all the possible resources to bring the criminals involved to justice.

“It is for this reason that we welcome the Maltese authorities’ request for assistance from foreign experts in the investigations,” they added.

The MEPs said that at a time like this, the nation should remain united in condemning “this criminal behaviour, with the utmost respect towards the values of democracy and the rule of law”.

They offered their condolences to Caruana Galizia’s family.