Council of Europe report is condemnation of government’s culture of impunity - Adrian Delia

Malta needs to strengthen its democracy and rule of law through institutions which are truly independent, impartial, accountable and transparent, Delia says

The report adopted by the Council of Europe yesterday is a condemnation of the government's culture of impunity, Adrian Delia said
The report adopted by the Council of Europe yesterday is a condemnation of the government's culture of impunity, Adrian Delia said

The Council of Europe's adoption of a damning report into the rule of law in Malta and the government’s handling of the investigation into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder is a condemnation of the country’s culture of impunity, Adrian Delia said.

The Opposition leader said that the Council of Europe’s report follows other similar documents issued by GRECO, Moneyval, the Venice Commission, the European Commission and Transparency International, which the government had ignored and set aside their conclusions.

In a statement on Thursday, Delia said that the report concluded that the government’s proposal to split the Attorney General’s dual role fell significantly short of meeting the spirit of the Venice Commission’s recommendations on the matter.

Moreover, the report confirmed the conclusions of various other reports which asserted that Malta’s institutions were controlled by the government and Prime Minister, and also signalled concern on the appointment of persons to the judiciary who had strong connections with the Labour Party.

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“The report says that the checks and balances needed for there to be a functional democracy in Malta have been dismantled, and it concludes that Malta no longer has a functioning democracy,” Delia said, “It also makes reference to other report by GRECO and the Venice Commission, which came to the conclusion that institutions of government, the judicial system and the enforcement entities are not up to European rule of law standards.”

“At the same time [the report] remarks how these shortcomings in Malta are affecting all of Europe, and therefore it maintains that European institutions should intervene, since the [Maltese] government persists in dragging its feet.”

He went on to say that the Prime Minister’s bad decisions, amongst them to keep his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi by his side, where not only damaging the government, but also Malta’s reputation.

The report, moreover, noted the prevalent sense of impunity surrounding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, for which the person who commission the crime has not yet been found, Delia said.

“In light of the report’s approval, which is urging the Council of Europe to continue keeping close tabs on the rule of law in our country until satisfactory progress is made, the Nationalist Party is insisting that Malta strengthen its democracy and rule of law, through institutions which are truly independent, impartial, accountable and transparent,” he said.

“There the PN will keep working to defend Malta and to ensure that our country restores the good reputation it enjoyed within all European and international institutions.”

Ironic that the PN is talking about democracy

In a statement on Thursday, the Labour party said it was ironic that Adrian Delia would speak about a threat to democracy while making use of that freedom to make a statement himself. 

The party said that Adrian Delia had not yet grasped that repeating the same sentiment on repeat would not get the nationalist party anywhere. 

“The nationalist party continues, to do the same thing it has done for the last year and a half.”

The party said that the report Delia referred to contained a number of factual errors which were “incorrect and unfair.” 

“It is a pity that once again nationalist party representatives have chosen to put partisan politics before the national interest,” the party said.  

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