[WATCH] Public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia murder within three months – Foreign Minister

Carmelo Abela tells a conference in London the government will abide by the three-month deadline set by the Council of Europe

Carmelo Abela committed the government to a three-month deadline to set up a public inquiry into the Caruana Galizia murder
Carmelo Abela committed the government to a three-month deadline to set up a public inquiry into the Caruana Galizia murder

A public inquiry to determine whether the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia could have been prevented will be set up within three months, the Foreign Minister said.

Carmelo Abela was speaking on Thursday at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Media Freedom conference in London.

Asked about the Council of Europe’s recent decision to adopt a damning report on Malta that called for the setting up of an independent public inquiry into the journalist’s murder, Abela said the government will “abide by the timing set by the Council of Europe”.

The COE resolution was approved by a big majority and imposed a three-month deadline for the inquiry to be set up.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Justice Minister Owen Bonnici have both said Malta will engage with COE but insisted the advice they had was that an inquiry could prejudice ongoing criminal procedures.

Muscat has always insisted an inquiry will be held at the appropriate time.

Abela’s statement today is the first time that a government minister has made it clear Malta will stick to the three-month deadline to set up the inquiry.

The Foreign Minister did reiterate the government had to make sure the inquiry did not impinge on the criminal investigations.

Caruana Galizia was murdered on 16 October 2017 by a powerful car bomb, shortly after she left the family home in Bidnija.

Three men have since been charged in court with the murder and the compilation of evidence against them is ongoing.

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