Council of Europe MP Omtzigt to meet Robert Abela and Labour ministers

Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt, rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, will meet Labour ministers and PM this week

Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt
Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt

A Dutch MP who criticised Malta’s public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, will be visiting Malta tomorrow for a round of meetings with government ministers.

Peter Omtzigt, rapporteur on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, had authored a report demanding a public inquiry and put pressure on the government to raise the inquiry’s standards as recommended by the Council’s parliamentary assembly.

Omtzigt said that serious concerns had already been expressed about the independence and impartiality of the three members appointed to carry out the inquiry, the three members being Judge Emeritus Michael Mallia, former Faculty of Laws Dean Ian Refalo and forensic expert Anthony Abela Medici. These were later replaced by new members.

Omtzigt will tomorrow meet foreign minister Evarist Bartolo, and then have a working lunch with finance minister Edward Scicluna, and ministers from the Cabinet’s governance committee, at the ministry for justice. In the afternoon he will meet Commissioner for Standards in Public Life George Hyzler.

The next day, Omtzigt will meet Attorney General Peter Grech, and right after meet Prime Minister Robert Abela together with members of the Cabinet governance committee - finance minister Edward Scicluna, justice minister Edward Zammit Lewis, education minister Owen Bonnici, home affairs minister Byron Camilleri, parliamentary secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, and Cabinet secretary Mario Cutajar.

The Council of Europe had called on Malta to establish an independent public inquiry into the Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder after noting “serious concerns” over the murder investigation.

The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe on Wednesday approved a report compiled by Omtzigt into Caruana Galizia’s murder and the rule of law in Malta.

Omtzigt listed several concerns linked to the murder investigation, including the Maltese police’s failure to ask their German counterparts for information from Caruana Galizia’s laptop. The laptop had been consigned to the German police by the Caruana Galizia family several months after the murder.

Other serious concerns included “inflammatory and misleading statements by persons close to the Prime Minister” and the “possibility that the Maltese security service may have had prior intelligence about the murder plot”.

The latter concern emerged from court testimony that revealed how one of the murder suspects had his mobile phone tapped prior to the murder as part of a separate and unrelated investigation. The Security Service and the police both had denied prior knowledge of the murder.

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