European journalists urge support for independent inquiry into Caruana Galizia murder

Report by Council of Europe rapporteur and Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt is expected to highlight serious concerns over investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

The European Federation of Journalists has called on the Maltese government to support the findings of a report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which is expected to call for a independent public inquiry on whether the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia could have been prevented
The European Federation of Journalists has called on the Maltese government to support the findings of a report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which is expected to call for a independent public inquiry on whether the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia could have been prevented

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have urged Malta’s government to support the findings of an investigation by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is expected to call for an independent public inquiry on whether Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder could have been prevented.

A draft report on the findings of Special Rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt - tasked with carrying out the investigation - is expected to be published soon.

It will highlight a number of serious concerns over the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s murder, the EFJ said, including the fact that no one has been arrested for ordering the assasination, and that the magisterial inquiry is still ongoing, with uncertainty as to its progress.

In a letter penned by the EFJ and a group of media freedom NGOs, and addressed to the Maltese PACE members, the journalists urged the government to act in good faith in accordance with Malta’s obligations to the European Court of Human Rights and to support Omtzigt’s mandate and report.

“We also ask you to constructively promote implementation of its recommendations without delay, in the interest of achieving justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia and addressing the broader democratic shortcomings identified in Malta,” the EFJ said.

Omtzigt’s draft report - titled “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law, in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges - and an accompanying resolution will be considered at the PACE Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee meeting in Paris on Wednesday.

“We have been following Mr Omtzigt’s work in his capacity as Special Rapporteur and believe that his mandate and his draft report are crucial efforts to achieve justice in this case and ensure the accountability of the Maltese government in adhering to its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights,” the EFJ said, “We have full confidence in Mr Omzigt’s work as Special Rapporteur and we regard attempts to discredit him or his work as a serious effort to divert attention from the substance of the report.”

‘Frankly alarming situation for an EU member state’

The journalists’ federation went on to note that “broader systemic problems in terms of rule of law and democratic checks and balances were detailed in the recent Venice Commission Opinion and GRECO report on Malta”. “The cumulative effect is a frankly alarming situation, particularly for a Council of Europe and European Union member state,” the Federation underlined.

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