Magistrate Neville Camilleri to lead Caruana Galizia murder inquiry

Appointed magistrate in 2011, Neville Camilleri will take over the inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder after Magistrate Anthony Vella is set to be appointed judge

Magistrate Neville Camilleri seen here arriving to court on 6 December 2017 when the three men charged with Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder were brought before him. Camilleri was duty magistrate on the day.
Magistrate Neville Camilleri seen here arriving to court on 6 December 2017 when the three men charged with Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder were brought before him. Camilleri was duty magistrate on the day.

The Daphne Caruana Galizia murder inquiry has been assigned to Magistrate Neville Camilleri, court sources told MaltaToday.

Camilleri will be taking over from Magistrate Anthony Vella, who will be formally appointed judge on Monday afternoon.

It is normal practice that the magisterial case load of a sitting member of the judiciary is assigned to other magistrates when the person is elevated to judge.

The murder inquiry had been assigned to Vella by former chief justice Silvio Camilleri after the Caruana Galizia family had objected to Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera.

Scerri Herrera happened to be the duty magistrate on the day of the journalist’s murder.

Both Vella and Scerri Herrera will this afternoon be made judges.

Vella’s elevation to judge had raised eyebrows among a handful of MEPs probing the rule of law in Malta since they were concerned the appointment of a new magistrate would stall the murder inquiry.

Rule of law activists in Malta have criticised the government’s decision to elevate Vella to judge, a move they claim will hinder the murder investigation.

Reżistenza's protest poster strung up on the law court gate on Monday morning
Reżistenza's protest poster strung up on the law court gate on Monday morning

In an early morning action by Reżistenza, a protest group, activists strung up a poster on the courthouse gate in Valletta, depicting Justice Minister Owen Bonnici bludgeoning ‘Lady Justice’.

Sources told MaltaToday Magistrate Neville Camilleri has already been assigned the murder inquiry, which is considered to be one of the more sensitive magisterial probes.

Camilleri, who joined the ranks of the judiciary in 2011, was the duty magistrate on the night that three men were charged in court with the murder of the journalist, last December.

The case was then assigned to a different magistrate, as per procedure, to start hearing the compilation of evidence. The case is ongoing in front of Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit.

The person or persons who ordered the killing remains unknown and the magisterial inquiry into the murder remains open.

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