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[WATCH] Adrian Delia calls for Prime Minister’s resignation over Caruana Galizia murder

The Opposition leader said that the systematic dismantling of the police force made criminals ‘feel more comfortable putting bombs under cars’

yannick_pace
Yannick Pace
17 October 2017, 7:39pm
For most of his speech, Delia focused on the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
For most of his speech, Delia focused on the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Adrian Delia calls for Prime Minister’s resignation over Caruana Galizia murder
Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia has insisted that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat must take political responsibility for the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia and resign his post immediately.

Speaking during what was meant the to be the Opposition leader’s reply to last Monday’s budget, Delia said that the killing had taken place under his watch and that Muscat needed to resign.

“I am delivering a message on behalf of the parliamentary group, and they are all behind me, and that message is: you must go,” said Delia.

In addition to having taken place under his watch, Delia said the Prime Minister also needed to take responsibility for the fact that he had led a government that let the country reach the state it was currently in. Furthermore, he said that despite the threat to Caruana Galizia’s life, Muscat’s government had taken no steps to ensure her protection.

The leader of the Opposition insisted that if the government was serious in its appeal for national unity, it would immediately remove the police commissioner and have him replaced by someone who enjoyed the backing of two-thirds of parliament. In addition, he also called on the government to start the necessary procedures for the Attorney General to be replaced, as well as start a discussion in the House of Representatives to ensure that the country’s institutions could “regain their independence”.

“This is the least the government can do,” he said. “It will not bring back a person who was killed but it will give a clear message that the country does not want to continue sinking further.”  

Adrian Delia said he had never believed that 40 years after the killing of Raymond Caruana he would have to stand in parliament and state that the budget was irrelevant
Adrian Delia said he had never believed that 40 years after the killing of Raymond Caruana he would have to stand in parliament and state that the budget was irrelevant
During his speech, Delia laid the blame for yesterday’s brutal assassination on the police force, which he said had become “a political band club”, where people got ahead because of their political allegiance.

He said the Police Corps, had as a result been stripped of the respect it once held, as well as any sense of decency. He said that there were several instances where the police could have taken action to “stop the collapse of the rule of law”, but had instead chosen not to act.

He said this had led to criminal feeling more comfortable. “More comfortable taking what is not theirs…more comfortable putting bombs underneath cars.”

The Opposition leader started his speech by saying he had been mistaken in thinking Malta was a normal country.

“I was mistaken in believing we live in a democracy and in believing we had the freedom of expression the Nationalist Party had fought so hard for,” he said. “Any of us who had information and didn’t share it or who could have taken action and didn’t take are all complicit in what happened yesterday.”

He said that in his address to parliament yesterday, the Prime Minister did not admit the failure of his government and the collapse of the rule of law.

“I never believed that 40 years after the killing of Raymond Caruana I would have to come here like Eddie Fenech Adami did and say the reply to the budget is irrelevant,” said Delia, adding that nobody could expect parliament to discuss the budget “as if nothing ever happened”.

“We can’t talk about the economy when in Malta we have had the complete collapse of rule of law,” he added.

Addressing a press conference outside parliament following his speech, Delia said the country had started the week thinking the leader of the Opposition would be addressing the nation on the budget the government announced last week. 

Instead, he said the country had been forced to come to terms with events that had shocked the nation, where "a journalist who wrote about politics and corruption" paid with her life for doing her job.

"In these circumstances the Opposition felt there was nothing more important to talk about than this," he said. "There is no point talking about the future of our country when we can keep our children safe in the present."

Delia stressed that Malta, "which up until recently, was considered one of the safest places in the world was now one where terror reigns".

The leader of the Opposition again reiterated that the government had abdicated on its responsibility to protect Caruana Galizia.

“We are becoming the best in the world. The best at the assassination of people using car bombs,” he said, adding that Caruana Galizia’s death was not a normal assassination, but the murder of freedom of expression.

Delia reiterated that the Prime Minister, Attorney General and Police Commissioner should all resign, and said that it was now up to the Opposition and the people to speak out for those who need to have their voice heard.

"For the first time in our country the assassination of a journalist took place and it happened under the Prime Minister’s watch…it for this reason that we have asked for the resignation of the Prime Minister.”

Adrian Delia stress the Prime Minister was to blame for Caruana Galizia's murder since he had overseen the dismantling of the country's institutions
Adrian Delia stress the Prime Minister was to blame for Caruana Galizia's murder since he had overseen the dismantling of the country's institutions
Asked whether he felt it was irresponsible to be using such aggressive rhetoric and urging people onto the streets, given that tensions were running high, Delia insisted he had not been aggressive.

“If you consider every word I have said you’ll see that I am not inciting anyone or anything to do anything other than for us to make our voices heard,” he said.

“I am not aggressive. I am shocked, I am saddened, I am angry, as many people are, and our job in parliament as the Opposition is to voice what people are saying. And if you think that people in their homes at the moment, are happy or have peace of mind, I can assure you that this is not what we have heard.

“We have heard anger, we have heard suffering and we are speaking in the way people are feeling.”

Delia was then asked by Net TV why Joseph Muscat was responsible for Caruana Galizia’s death, insisting that he was responsible because he had intentionally allowed everything that makes a society “free and democratic” to be eroded.   

yannick_pace
Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...