Croc­o­dile tears and the as­sas­si­na­tion of Daphne

Count­less ar­ti­cles and opin­ions have been writ­ten about Daphne’s as­sas­si­na­tion last Mon­day, when the car she was driv­ing was blown to smithereens.

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - DEBATE & ANALYSIS -

any the­o­ries have been wo­ven as to the pos­si­ble iden­tity and mo­ti­va­tion of those who planned and/or ex­e­cuted her as­sas­si­na­tion. I will not add to the spec­u­la­tion.

Like many oth­ers, I fol­lowed her writ­ings through the years and found most of them in­for­ma­tive. In the Mal­tese jour­nal­ist com­mu­nity, her in­ves­tiga­tive skills were se­cond to none. Her ar­gu­ments were al­ways very force­ful even though a bias was clearly present. She could al­ter­nate be­tween well writ­ten, clearly thought out and in­ves­tiga­tive ar­ti­cles and pure in­vec­tive aimed at those she de­spised.

Her un­der­ly­ing po­lit­i­cal views were al­ways clear and she pro­moted them mer­ci­lessly. Un­til June 2017, she ig­nored most of the sins of the PN and fo­cused re­lent­lessly on those of the PL. Af­ter June 2017 she prac­ti­cally lumped them both to­gether in one bas­ket, as they de­served, lend­ing cre­dence to the state­ment that there is noth­ing to dis­tin­guish the PN from the PL.

As for AD, it was one of her punch­ing bags when it suited her, par­tic­u­larly at those crit­i­cal po­lit­i­cal junc­tures where AD’s views and po­si­tions con­trasted sharply with those of the PN. At other times, when she found AD’s views use­ful, she used them to but­tress her own.

Her as­sas­si­na­tion is a di­rect blow against free­dom of ex­pres­sion in Malta.

Var­i­ous other at­tempts have been made to shut her up through the count­less ac­tions in court for civil dam­ages. An at­tempt was made to crip­ple her fi­nan­cially with a le­gal mech­a­nism, in­sist­ing that the claimed civil dam­ages be de­posited in Court when le­gal ac­tion is ini­ti­ated. This was an at­tempt at in­tim­i­da­tion which, un­for­tu­nately, the Law Courts did not see through. The at­tempt was only thwarted through the ini­tia­tive of David Thake who or­gan­ised crowd fund­ing of the sums re­quested, thus short-cir­cuit­ing the bully­boy tac­tics of Min­is­ter Car­dona and his lawyers.

The Leader of the Op­po­si­tion, Adrian Delia, who has been un­der her spotlight for the past four months is now ap­par­ently out to milk her as­sas­si­na­tion for his party’s po­lit­i­cal gain, as is ev­i­denced by his speeches ear­lier this week. He seems to want us to for­get that he too was a con­trib­u­tor to the pile of ac­tions for li­bel sub­mit­ted against her. Their with­drawal this week smells of crass hypocrisy.

This is es­sen­tially the back- ground of the croc­o­dile tears be­ing shed by some of those who say that they are “shocked” at her as­sas­si­na­tion.

Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions have com­menced. Re­quest­ing help from for­eign ex­perts may en­sure that all leads are fol­lowed. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was al­most tor­pe­doed in its first sec­onds when Mag­is­trate Con­suelo Scerri Her­rera failed to re­alise that this was a def­i­nite no-go area for her. That she took hours to re­alise this, is tes­ti­mony to the fact that some mem­bers of the bench still need to mas­ter much more than the law.

The Mag­is­trate’s pres­ence shocked all as soon as she ar­rived on site at Bid­nija. Soon af­ter, that shock was com­pounded by the com­ments posted on Face­book by a Po­lice Sergeant from the po­lice in­ves­ti­gat­ing team on his be­ing over­joyed at the day’s hap­pen­ings. The fact that he was sus­pended pend­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion is not suf­fi­cient. It still needs to be ex­plained by the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice why some mem­bers of the po­lice force have still not re­alised that they should stay away from so­cial me­dia as it may se­ri­ously jeop­ar­dise not

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