External monitor for Caruana Galizia murder investigation on Council of Europe’s agenda

Günter Schirmer, head of the department of Legal Affairs and Human Rights, has confirmed that the election of a rapporteur is on the agenda of the next parliamentary assembly meeting on 23 April

The election of a special rapporteur on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination is on the agenda of the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly later this month.

A motion for a resolution was tabled last January by Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt and 113 others from all political groups, calling for international monitoring of the ongoing investigation into Caruana Galizia’s murder.

On 15 March, the motion titled, ‘Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law, in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges’, was referred by the bureau of the assembly to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Günter Schirmer, head of the department of Legal Affairs and Human Rights, has confirmed that the election of a rapporteur is on the agenda of the next parliamentary assembly meeting on 23 April.

The motion drawn up by Omtzigt gained widespread support and speaks of the responsibility of the international community to monitor the ongoing murder investigation.

It also asks the assembly to ensure that all aspects surrounding the assassination are “thoroughly and impartially investigated by the authorities, without political interference suspected by numerous Maltese demonstrators”.

The motion says the examination must include a review of institutional failures and “the systematic targeting of Caruana Galizia for her work”.

It also urges the assembly to help shed light on the background of the crime in co-operation with the relevant Maltese authorities.

Only last week, the committee of ministers of the Council of Europe expressed confidence in the work being carried out by the Maltese authorities in their investigation of the murder.

The committee was replying to a question filed by Omtzigt, who asked whether it would be requesting explanations from the Maltese government on the “failure” of the police to investigate money laundering by government officials and adequately protect Caruana Galizia.

The committee said it did not see any reason for taking additional measures, as the necessary investigations were being conducted by “independent judicial bodies and in full cooperation with all competent Council of Europe mechanisms in place”.

Caruana Galizia was killed on 16 October last year in a powerful car bomb, just after leaving her house in Bidnija.

Three men have been charged in court with the murder but those believed to have commissioned the crime are still at large.

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