PN leader wants spe­cial in­quiry on Caru­ana Gal­izia mur­der

Noth­ing to ex­clude fu­ture in­quiry, gov­ern­ment says

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Na­tion­al­ist Party leader Adrian Delia yes­ter­day said that the lat­est de­vel­op­ments re­gard­ing the mur­der of jour­nal­ist Daphne Caru­ana Gal­izia show that the gov­ern­ment did not do its duty “to pre­vent it” and “to in­ves­ti­gate it well to catch who­ever com­mis­sioned it.”

In a state­ment, Delia said in the last days the con­sti­tu­tional court had stopped the hus­band (Deputy Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Sil­vio Val­letta) of a min­is­ter (Justyne Caru­ana) from in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mur­der.

Min­is­ter Chris Car­dona also ad­mit­ted in Par­lia­ment that he had at­tended a bach­e­lor party with one of the three men ac­cused of the mur­der, while Ital­ian me­dia re­ported that the min­is­ter had re­ceived a tele­phone call from some­one who later also called one of the ac­cused, Delia said.

In the light of these de­vel­op­ments, the Op­po­si­tion is re­quest­ing the gov­ern­ment to ap­point a “spe­cial, au­ton­o­mous and in­de­pen­dent” com­mis­sion with the fol­low­ing terms of ref­er­ence: Iden­tify what the short­com­ings in the pro­vi­sion of pro­tec­tion to as­sas­si­nated jour­nal­ist Daphne Caru­ana Gal­izia; in­ves­ti­gate what the au­thor­i­ties knew or could have known about the threats she faced and; in­ves­ti­gate whether these au­thor­i­ties failed to act on what they knew to pro­tect the jour­nal­ist.

Delia said that nearly one year af­ter the as­sas­si­na­tion, the per­son or per­sons who com­mis­sioned the crime are still to be iden­ti­fied.

As a re­sult, the Op­po­si­tion is re­quest­ing the gov­ern­ment to say what the po­lice are do­ing to iden­tify the per­son or per­sons who com­mis­sioned the crime. Delia also called on the gov­ern­ment to re­move the present po­lice com­mis­sioner for al­low­ing his deputy (Val­letta) to in­ves­ti­gate the case and ap­point a new com­mis­sioner to lead the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Gov­ern­ment re­ac­tion

In re­ply, the gov­ern­ment un­der­lined the fact that un­der Malta’s le­gal sys­tem, when a crime such as a homi­cide oc­curs, two par­al­lel investigations take place – one con­ducted by the po­lice and the other con­ducted by the in­quir­ing mag­is­trate. The gov­ern­ment refers also to the wide pow­ers and dis­cre­tion which our laws af­ford to the in­quir­ing mag­is­trate.

As is al­ready ap­par­ent from what has been pub­lished in the last days, most of the points men­tioned by the leader of the op­po­si­tion are al­ready sub­ject to in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The gov­ern­ment urged any per­son, in­clud­ing the leader of the op­po­si­tion, to pass any in­for­ma­tion which might as­sist in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties.

The gov­ern­ment also re­ferred to the ongoing cor­re­spon­dence be­tween the at­tor­ney gen­eral and the lawyers of the fam­ily of Daphne Caru­ana Gal­izia re­gard­ing the mer­its of the set­ting-up of a pub­lic in­quiry.

The lawyers of the fam­ily of Daphne Caru­ana Gal­izia have been asked to re­act to a num­ber of le­gal ques­tions which arise if a pub­lic in­quiry had to set up over and above ongoing crim­i­nal investigations.

While it is of ut­most im­por­tance to avert sit­u­a­tions or de­ci­sions which might prej­u­dice or hin­der ongoing crim­i­nal investigations, at the same time there is noth­ing which ex­cludes the set­ting-up of an­other in­quiry at a later stage as long as this prej­u­dice is averted, the gov­ern­ment said.

Labour Party state­ment

In re­ac­tion, the Labour Party said Delia should have de­manded an in­quiry about him­self and not on is­sues that are al­ready sub­ject to investigations by in­de­pen­dent au­thor­i­ties.

Delia’s re­quest is a weak at­tempt by some­one who wants to take con­trol of the party he leads but knows he has a prob­lem of cred­i­bil­ity.

In the months lead­ing to Caru­ana Gal­izia’s mur­der, Delia was the main tar­get of the jour­nal­ist. What she wrote about him had never been ver­i­fied be­cause Delia was afraid of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion such as the one launched by Mus­cat on Egrant, the PL said.

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