[WATCH] Government will soon announce public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia murder

The Council of Europe's three-month deadline for the start of a public inquiry into the journalist's murder terminates on 26 September

The Council of Europe gave Malta a three-month deadline to initiate a public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder, which deadline is set to expire on 26 September
The Council of Europe gave Malta a three-month deadline to initiate a public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder, which deadline is set to expire on 26 September
Government will soon announce public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia murder

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said the government aims to follow the Council of Europe’s resolution to launch a public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In late June, the organisation’s parliamentary assembly had adopted a resolution demanding that Malta open an independent public inquiry into the killing of Caruana Galizia.

The Council of Europe gave Malta a three-month deadline for this to happen, which expires on 26 September.

Last July, Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela, had stated during the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Media Freedom conference in London, that the government wold be launching a public inquiry within three months.

Asked by MaltaToday about the inquiry, Muscat was quick to jump in.

“The 26 September,” he said, underlining the deadline set by the Council of Europe.

“When it’s time to make announcements, we will make them,” Muscat said after exiting a Cabinet meeting held in Santa Venera to discuss Budget 2020.

“We have a strong engagement with the Council of Europe… while I have strong reservations on the methodology used by the rapporteur of the parliamentary assembly when drawing up the resolution, I have huge respect for the Council of Europe,” Muscat said.

He added that since day he had been saying that he had no issue with a public inquiry and his response had not wavered in the slightest. His only concern, he said, had been with the public inquiry possibly prejudicing the ongoing criminal investigations.

“We will follow this resolution because we have nothing to hide. We have to make sure, however, that by launching a public inquiry we wouldn’t be prejudicing any case. We have almost reached this balance now,” Muscat said, adding that the announcement of the launch will soon be made.

“The question [on the government’s take on a public inquiry] keeps cropping up as if we will change our answer, but we have been saying the same thing since day one,” he said.

READ ALSO: Council of Europe adopts damning report on rule of law in Malta

The Council of Europe's deadline expires just before the start of confirmation hearings in the European Parliament for the commissioner-designates.

Helena Dalli, Malta's prospective next commissioner, is likely to face questions from MEPs on the Caruana Galizia murder. If by then the government would not have initiated a public inquiry, Dalli could expect to face flak on the issue.

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia later took to Twitter to urge the government to stick to the September 26 deadline if it "wants to ensure justice."

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