[WATCH] Delia calls on PM to meet Caruana Galizia family

Nationalist leader insists inquiry must bring out whole truth about journalist’s murder

Adrian Delia gave an interview on Net FM on Saturday morning
Adrian Delia gave an interview on Net FM on Saturday morning

Adrian Delia has called on the Prime Minister to meet Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family to listen to their concerns about the composition of the board which will be conducting a public inquiry into her murder.

The Nationalist Party leader stressed that the inquiry had to bring out the whole truth about the assassination, and that it was crucial that no doubts about what transpired remained.

The public inquiry, which was launched by the government on Friday night - days before the end of the three-month window within which the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly called for it to be started - will be determining whether the state could have prevented the journalist’s murder, whether it has in place effective means to avoid the development of a situation of impunity, and whether it has fulfilled its obligation to protect individuals whose lives are at risk.

Shortly after the inquiry was announced, the Caruana Galizia family asked for a meeting with Joseph Muscat to discuss the composition of its board, consisting of Judge Emeritus Michael Mallia (presiding), constitutional law expert Professor Ian Refalo, and forensics expert Anthony Abela Medici.

Delia, who was speaking in an interview on Net FM on Saturday, appealed to Muscat to accede to the family's request, saying that “this time we cannot not get it right”.

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“The truth has to come out, whatever it is. We cannot risk having an inquiry which leaves doubts even after its conclusion. We have to remove all doubts, “ Delia emphasised.

“I appeal to [Joseph Muscat] to meet with [Caruana Galizia’s] family, so that there is satisfaction that the inquiry will take place independently and with tranquility,” he said.

Environment has to be placed at centre of economy

The interview touched on various other issues, including the environment, with Delia stressing that environmental considerations had to be placed at the core of any economic or political decisions and planning.

Calling the removal of trees “madness”, he said that more trees should be planted daily.

“Other countries are planting trees, but in our country we tear down every one of them. This is madness. We need to increase the number of trees every day. Trees are the country’s lungs. Our air is the dirtiest in Europe, and instead of the government recognising this, it makes the problem worse,” he said.

Delia also said he had formally requested that the government declare climate change a national emergency. “I expect the Prime Minister to declare this - not only with words, but through actions.”

He underlined that Malta, a small island in the middle of the sea, would be worse impacted by climate change than other larger countries.

“Small islands like ours, surrounded by sea and dependent on it, and which are more exposed to rising sea levels, have more to worry about. We will be affected more by climate change than bigger countries.”

MFSA CEO’s golden handshakes money wasn’t his to give

On the subject of the two cases of MFSA golden handshakes, Delia said that the money which the regulator's CEO Joeseph Cuschieri had offered to a human resources director to step down, and to a Chief Operating Officer after his dismissal, were funds which he didn’t have the right to give.

“Someone changes the rules to be able to give themselves €150,000 to leave the MFSA, but then returns to do the same work after a number of weeks within the same organisation. This is theft from the people,” Delia said, “Another person was given thousands by the CEO to leave. The money wasn’t the CEO’s to give. Our Parliament dedicated that money to something else.”

He noted that it wasn’t only the Opposition that was saying this, but also the MFSA’s governor Joe Brincat, “who was appointed by the government.”

“The PN feels this needs to be investigated and has written to the Public Accounts Committee to investigate this behaviour,” he said.

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Prime Minister stands by MFSA CEO as Joe Brincat goes to Auditor General