Updated | Committee of Ministers ‘confident’ in Maltese authorities in Daphne Caruana Galizia investigation

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe said that it is confident that the Maltese authorities will make appropriate use of mechanisms in place at both the Council of Europe and at the domestic level in investigating the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and money laundering claims

Updated with Daphne Caruana Galizia's sons' reaction

The Maltese authorities will continue to make appropriate use of all the means in place – in full respect with the fundamental values of the Council of Europe – in investigating the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe wrote, saying that they are “confident” of this fact.

The Committee was responding to a question sent by Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt.

Referring to the delegation sent on a fact-finding mission to Malta in November of last year, the Committee said that the delegation had passed on information detailing the steps taken by the Maltese authorities in regards to the investigation.

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

Omtzigt asked whether the Committee would be requesting explanations from the Maltese government on the “failure” of the Police Force to investigate money laundering my government officials and its relatives, as well as its “failure” to “adequately protect” Caruana Galizia.

The Committee said that these allegations were subject to an ongoing judicial inquiry, and that the delegation had provided information on its visit in November, its report, and of the upcoming visit by GRECO which will be followed by a monitoring evaluation by MONEVAL.

In light of this, and Committee concluded that there was no need for additional measures to be taken.

Daphne Caruana Galizia's sons react to Ministers' conclusions

In reply to the Committee of Ministers’ conclusions, Daphne’s sons Matthew, Andrew and Paul Caruana Galizia said that it was a mistake for the Maltese government to celebrate anything it perceived as passivity from the international community when it came to their mother’s assassination.

“The world is shocked by what happened and will never look at Malta the same way again—not until we, as a country, confront head on the criminal forces that have usurped the state,” they said in a statement this morning.

The three said the country needed to acknowledge it had a deep problem with corruption and impunity, and that the institutions in Malta lacked the independence and capacity to do anything about it.

“A conservative response to an MP by a group of ambassadors in Strasbourg, including our own, is not cause for celebration by government officials, especially when that reply is based on open deceit,” they said. “There is no such thing as ‘judicial investigations’ in Malta and there can be no judicial prosecution.”

Matthew, Andrew and Paul Caruana Galizia noted that no investigations had been opened into their mother’s reporting – bar one, in which a magistrate was seeking to pin down a declaration of trust showing that Michelle Muscat was the beneficial owner of Egrant Inc. That evidence, they claimed, was clearly spirited out of the country over a year ago.

They said it was scandalous that the Maltese police were not investigating any of this, especially after their mother – who first raised the issue of Michelle Muscat being the beneficial owner of Egrant Inc. – had been executed.

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