Muscat in Brussels, MEPs tell EU president ‘to take a stance’ over delayed resignation

MEPs from the LIBE committee have asked EU president Charles Michel and heads of government to take a stance on Malta situation

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in Brussels
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in Brussels

The chairman of the European Parliamentary committee for civil liberties has called on the European Council’s president to take a stance on Joseph Muscat’s refusal to resign immediately.

In a letter conveyed to EU president Charles Michel by European Parliament president David Sassoli, the MEPs Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar and Sophie In’t Veld said they were concerned over Muscat’s delayed resignation while the Maltese parliament was in recess. “We fear this constitutes a serious risk, real or perceived, that the murder investigation and connected investigations will be compromised…

“We believe it is important for the Council and the heads of government to take a stance. Malta is part of the European Union, and all EU institutions have a responsibility to ensure European Values are upheld throughout the territory of the EU,” the two MEPs said.

Joseph Muscat is in Brussels to attend his final Council meeting before stepping down in January 2020 following the election of a new Labour leader and prime minister.

Last week, an ad hoc MEPs’ mission of the LIBE committee was sent to Malta in light of the latest developments in the investigation into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

“The findings of the mission are alarming and require urgent action,” the MEPs said. “The delegation met with the police, the judiciary, politicians, journalists and civil society, and it has identified several serious shortcomings and threats to the rule of law. These relate directly to the integrity of the murder investigation and the possible political interference therein, as we as to broader challenges of insufficient law enforcement in cases of money laundering and corruption. Recent revelations, including the testimony given by the ‘middleman’ in court yesterday, suggest involvement of senior members of the Maltese government and staff.”

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