Updated (2): Watch: 42,000 Italians sign petition for Daphne inquiry

Forty-two thousand Italians signed a petition asking the Maltese government to abide by the request of the Council of Europe to hold an independent commission of inquiry to find out the truth about the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Eminent Italian journalist Sandro Ruotolo said that the petition was his joint initiative with Paolo Borrometi. Both these journalists are placed under a police escort as their lives are threatened by organized crime.

Ruotolo said that he suspected that Caruana Galizia was murdered because her investigations had reached “the centres of power.”

Read: ‘If Malta cannot or will not correct its weaknesses, European institutions must intervene’ – CoE

“There is no democracy”

Ruotolo, Monday evening, addressed the crowd gathered at the Great Siege Square for the vigil commemorating Daphne Caruana Galizia. In front of the spontaneous memorial for Daphne Caruana Galizia, he said that  Italian journalists want to know why Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated.

He explained that when a journalist is threatened or killed democracy is attacked.

“Without freedom of information, there is no democracy. This is why demanding to know the truth about the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, demanding justice, seeing the killers and the masterminds of the car bomb that exploded on the 16 October two years ago brought before the courts, these demands see us take action first-hand.”

Ruotolo is no stranger to assassinated journalists as eleven were killed by the Mafia or terrorism in his country, Italy, and hundreds are threatened. Besides, twenty-two journalists are protected by the state and live under armed police escort. Ruotolo has been given such protection since 4 May 2015. The attempt by Matteo Salvini, then Italy’s Minister of the Interior, to remove Ruotolo’s protection caused a public outcry and Salvini had to retract his decision.

Mafia linked to power

Ruotolo said that during one of his television investigations he had asked a collaborating witness if he knew of any relations between persons of the Intelligence Service and Michele Zagaria, the head of one of the most powerful clans of the Camorra. As a result, Zagaria, the boss of the Casalesi clan, decreed that Ruotolo must be killed.

The eminent Italian journalist said that different forms of the Mafia existed before the setting up of the Italian state. They today continue to exist and spread all over Italy because they have linked up with the centres of power. He described the fight against the Mafia as a fight to defend the Constitution as wherever the Mafia exists, no rights exist.

Daphne’s investigations reached the centres of power

He said the vigil for Daphne Caruana Galizia was being organised while the Council of Europe’s ultimatum for the appointment of an independent Commission of inquiry is about to expire.

He concluded his speech with a heartfelt appeal to the Government:

“I too, and I think I speak on behalf of all Italian journalists, appeal to the Government of Malta. You need to know the truth about Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, and we need answers. We all suspect that Daphne’s investigations had reached the centres of power.”

His departing strong punchline based on  Brecht’s play, the Caucasian Chalk Circle was that “we need justice that is just and impartial.”

Read more:

Court to decide on Caruana Galizia murder suspect bail request

‘People died to get the word out’ – Meryl Streep pays tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia

Daphne murder: ‘Produce intercepts within next 24 hours’ – Degiorgios’ lawyer to Police Commissioner and AG

Footage: Monique Agius