Caruana Galizia family threatens minister with criminal proceedings

The Caruana Galizia family has said it is prepared to use all legal means at their disposal to prevent the government from ‘sabotaging’ the investigation

Home Affairs minister Michael Farrugia
Home Affairs minister Michael Farrugia

The family of murdered journalist Daphne Caruan Galizia has threatened to take criminal proceedings against Home Affairs minister Michael Farrugia, over a reply he gave to a parliamentary question.

Farrugia, responding to a question by former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil, said he was informed that the inquiring magistrate into the Caruana Galizia murder had access to some personal items that belonged to the journalist, but that it was not in the public interest to elaborate on whether these items were available to the police.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the ministry pointed out that the information referred to was already in the public domain, referring to a court application filed by the Institute of Maltese Journalists on 30 October, to safeguard the confidentiality of the evidence retrieved from the crime scene that belonged to Caruana Galizia.

The ministry said that in the letter sent by the Caruana Galizia family, the minister was being threatened “with criminal legal action that may lead to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of thousands of euros. The letter interferes with the ministerial and parliamentary responsibilities, that can even be considered as a breach of parliamentary privilege.”

The ministry said “similar claims do not seem to have been addressed against Dr Busuttil’s question”, adding that Farrugia reserved the right to take all the necessary steps to “protect his ministerial and parliamentary duties”.

In their letter to Farrugia, the Caruana Galizia family said they were “dismayed” to find that the minister “found to will” to respond to parliamentary question with “confidential information”, while the police force had been “unable to respond to any of six written communications and legal letters” sent to the Police Commissioner since 31 October.

“We remind you that the perpetrators of the assassination are most likely to have access to a computer and are capable of understating spoken and written English and therefore capable of understanding your public statement that certain items of evidence are available to the inquiring magistrate,” read the letter, referring to Farrugia’s comments in parliament.

Finally, the family said it was prepared to use all legal means at it’s disposal to ensure that Farrugia, and the Government “are not permitted to sabotage either the magisterial inquiry or the police investigation, which according to law must be independent, impartial and expedient.

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