[WATCH] Prime Minister will seek fresh advice on Caruana Galizia murder inquiry after Council of Europe vote

Joseph Muscat: ‘I will not put Malta on collision course with European institution but I can never shoulder responsibility for prejudicing ongoing criminal proceedings’

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Joseph Muscat reacts to damning Council of Europe vote

Malta will engage with the Council of Europe after it adopted a damning report that called for a public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, Joseph Muscat said.

“I do not want to put Malta on a collision course with a European institution… but I also have the advice from the Attorney General that anything said in an inquiry could prejudice ongoing criminal proceedings against three men accused with the murder and that is a responsibility I will not shoulder,” the Prime Minister said.

He was speaking after exiting a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry this morning in Valletta.

Muscat said Malta will engage with the Council of Europe on the matter, adding he will also seek further advice from the Attorney General given the three-month time window the country was given to set up the inquiry.

Muscat has consistently said he will call an inquiry to determine whether the murder could have been prevented at the appropriate time. Three men are currently facing criminal proceedings as they stand accused with carrying out the murder.

Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bomb just after leaving her house in Bidnija on 16 October 2017.

The Prime Minister welcomed the fact that the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly yesterday rejected a call by a Maltese Opposition MP to initiate a monitoring procedure against Malta. The monitorring procedure is something adopted only once before.

Muscat said he respected the Council of Europe’s decision and took note of it but reiterated his reservations on the Dutch rapporteur, who had admitted peddling false information in the case of a passenger aircraft that was downed over Ukraine.