Public inquiry into murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia concluded

Public inquiry board tasked with investigating whether the State did enough to prevent the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia to present its conclusions to the Prime Minister and State Advocate ‘in the coming days’

The Public Inquiry into the murder of the Daphne Caruana Galizia has been concluded, the board said in a statement.

The inquiry board will be presenting its findings to the Prime Minister Robert Abela and the State Advocate in the coming days.

The Board of Inquiry presided by retired judge Michael Mallia and Joseph Said Pullicino, and sitting judge Abigail Lofaro was set up in December 2019 following pressure from the Council of Europe and civil society.

It has heard a vast spectrum of witnesses, ranging from former prime minister Joseph Muscat to activists, in its 19 months of operation.

State Advocate Chris Soler represented the State in the proceedings before the board, while lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia assisted the Caruana Galizia family.

The board will be announcing the date on when the report will be presented, and when it will be published.

The board originally had a nine-month term to conclude its work but requested an extension since the process was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Last October, the board said it would overstep the deadline if it felt the need to do so.

A 15 December deadline was also given by Robert Abela, but the board had said that it would be continuing procedures beyond the date if need be.

The judges said that the board, in defence of its “independence and autonomy” would appreciate if it were allowed to proceed with its work in order to reach an objective judgement-free of “improper pressure and undue interference.”

They said that there was no room for binding time limits unless started in terms of reference and that the original nine-month limit had been set without prejudice to the “just fulfilment” of those terms, agreed upon with the Caruana Galizia family.