Daphne’s murder: One of my most difficult cases – Omtzigt

Pieter Omtzigt

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Council of Europe’s rapporteur on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination said that the case was one of his most difficult cases.

Pieter Omtzigt said this during an interview with Trouw.nl.

Omtzigt said that he has always been involved in difficult investigations, but that the level of resistance he had faced in Malta was one without precedent. He said that in a sense, it was his most difficult case. However, he couldn’t bring himself to turn down the investigation.

“Resistance from Malta”

He explained that when he was in Malta, he was always under Police supervision. He said that this determines the atmosphere. He explained that his Wikipedia page was updated with false allegations in October. The edits came from an IP address located in a Maltese Ministry.

He added that the Maltese delegation within the Council of Europe took a very hostile approach. He said that he received a motion of no confidence and that they tabled amendments to his reports.

When asked whether he felt threatened, he carefully responded that this is the difficult side of international politics.

“Non-functioning rule of law”

Omtzigt insisted that his mandate should not be limited to the murder. He also investigated the Maltese rule of law. His conclusion was that the Prime Minister has far too much power since he is responsible for all important appointments.

Omtzigt brought up the fact that Minister Konrad Mizzi and Chief of Staff Keith Schembri were involved in the Panama Papers scandals. He also brought up the fact that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat left them in office, as opposed to what happens in other countries. Omtzigt added that with such happenings, he noticed that there was something very wrong.

He said that the mission has not been accomplished yet. This is because there is still the non-functioning rule of law and corruption.

“Passport scheme is concerning”

Omtzigt is also concerned about the passport program that Malta has set up. With that program, rich Russians, Pakistanis or Saudis can buy a Maltese, and therefore European passport. The fear is that criminal money may be laundered through European banks. He said that Maltese problems can directly affect the Netherlands.