PN MEP wants Finnish presidency to pressure Malta over Caruana Galizia murder inquiry

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola called on the Finnish presidency to join the Council of Europe in demanding a public inquiry into the journalist's assassination

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola
Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola has called on the Finish Presidency of the European Council to join calls demanding that Malta set up a public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder.

Back in June, the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly approved a report about Malta, which called for, among other things, a public inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s murder and whether anything could have been done to avoid it.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had said after the report was approved, that Malta was seeking legal advice on a way forward. The government had previously said that starting a public inquiry before criminal inquiry has been concluded could prejudice ongoing investigations.

In July, Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela said the government would be launching an inquiry within three months, as requested by the Council of Europe.

“With the clock ticking down before the Council of Europe’s deadline for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to order an independent inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, MEP Roberta today called on the new Finish Presidency of the European Council to join efforts in demanding an inquiry,” the EPP said in a statement.

Metsola made her call during a European Parliament debate on the Finnish presidency’s priorities with the Finnish Justice and Home Affairs Ministers. Metsola, who is also the EPP’s coordinator on such issues, said that freedom of the press was intrinsically tied to the proper functioning of the rule of law and respect for democracy.

“Europe has seen two journalists assassinated with Daphne Caruana Galizia and Jan Kuciak both being brutally killed within months of each other. The Council of Europe has insisted on an independent inquiry that should be launched this month and Member States should join the call to ensure justice too,” Metsola said.

In their reply, the ministers are said to have declared that the protection of the rule of law was essential in every member state and that the presidency would be proposing a rule of law mechanism and accompanying annual report.

Turning to migration, Metsola reiterated that a system that provides certainty for search, rescue and disembarkation was sorely needed along with a concrete set of measures that allow for the sharing of responsibility between all Member States. “This is not a situation that can or should be handled solely by Mediterranean States like Malta, Italy, Greece or Spain. We must do better.”