Updated | Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry should be launched now, Repubblika insists

Repubblika urged the government to amplify the statements made by Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela and inform the public of when and how the public inquiry was to take place

Thousands march in Valletta to mark the first anniversary of Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder
Thousands march in Valletta to mark the first anniversary of Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder

A public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia should start immediately and not somewhere within the Council of Europe's three-month deadline, civil society group Repubblika said.

In a statement on Friday, Repubblika argued that there was no reason for further delay and that the public inquiry should have been initiated 18 months ago.

"The fact that the government announced its U-turn on this issue via the Foreign Affairs Minister's remark at a London conference shows its insensitivity to this serious matter," the statement read.

READ ALSO: Public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia murder within three months – Foreign Minister

The government had previously ignored calls for a public inquiry, declaring that such an inquiry might interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation. However, a damning Council of Europe report set a timeline for the launching of an independent public inquiry into the journalist’s murder. The deadline set is three months from the report.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela announced at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Media Freedom conference in London that the public inquiry would be set up some time before this deadline.

"We are expecting that the government will publicly and formally communicate this change in its stance to the lawyers of the Caruana Galizia family," Repubblika said, adding that the public inquiry should conform wholly to Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

This means that the public inquiry would be independent, impartial, free from interference, control or government influence. Earlier on Friday, Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said that the PN expected all inquiry board members to be “independent and impartial without any political ties whatsoever."

PN MEP David Casa took to Twitter to express his cynicism at Abela's statements especially in the light that they haven't yet been endorsed by the Maltese government. The government has yet to issue a statement on whether a public inquiry will in fact take place in the near future.

Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said that the Maltese government should have "done the right thing from the start" and ordered a public inquiry after the brutal assassination. He claimed that the Maltese authorities were only finally acceeding to an independent inquiry because of pressure from the Council of Europe.

Repubblika insisted that the government should amplify Abela's remarks, informing the public on how this inquiry is to be performed.

"This inquiry should examine the context of Daphne's assassination, what mistakes were made so that her murder became possible, whether the investigation that followed was effective and what needs to be done so that such a situation does not repeat itself," Repubblika concluded.