Foundation calls on PM to commit to implementing full public inquiry report

Photo by: Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation has called on the government to respect the autonomy of the public inquiry into the assassination of the slain journalist and to commit to implementing the public inquiry report in full once it is concluded.

The public inquiry is tasked with investigating whether the state facilitated or failed to prevent Daphne’s assassination, to establish whether the state allowed an environment of impunity for serious crime to develop, and to determine whether the state has fulfilled and is fulfilling its positive obligation to protect individuals at risk, particularly in the case of journalists.

The board of the public inquiry is composed of retired Judge Michael Mallia as chairperson, retired Chief Justice Joseph Said Pullicino and Judge Abigail Lofaro, who is still a serving judge.

In a statement on Sunday, marking the first anniversary since the inquiry was set up after a two-year campaign by civil society, non-governmental institutions and Daphne’s family to overcome the government’s initial refusal, the foundation said that it is only if the public inquiry completes its mission as set out in its terms of references that lessons can be learnt from Caruana Galizia’s assassination, however uncomfortable this process may be for those who bear responsibility.

“It is only then that Malta can begin a process of real change that ensures nothing like this ever happens again, to our country’s institutions or to one of our journalists,” the foundation said.

Reflecting on the progress of the inquiry, the foundation said that “substantial progress” has been made despite the limited cooperation from the government. It said that witnesses representing government and state entities had to be summoned to testify and many withheld information relevant to the Public Inquiry’s mission.

The foundation also expressed its concern accusing prime minister Robert Abela of attempting to end the public inquiry’s mandate which would undermine its “hard-won” and “essential” independence.