Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Opposition Leader and Partit Nazzjonalista leader Bernard Grech has decried the government’s statement issued on Tuesday as it reacted to the ruling by the board of inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Grech described the statement as unprecedented attack on the judiciary.
On Tuesday, the government issued a statement telling the judges presiding over the inquiry that once they had taken it upon themselves to extend the inquiry’s deadline and its terms of reference, they must now assume responsibility for the consequences.
The stand was also decried by National Book Council chairperson Mark Camilleri and ADPD.
The government’s reaction followed a court ruling by the board in which it announced that it will carrying on with its work highlighting that it was in its hands to determine the inquiry’s time limit without being subjected to any arbitrary time limits.
Grech pointed out that disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat had dragged his feet on the setting up of an inquiry. It was only after European bodies and civil society pressured the government into holding an inquiry to determine whether the state did all it could to prevent Caruana Galizia’s murder, that Muscat announced its setting up late last year, two years after the assassination.
The setting up of an inquiry was also part of the resolution on Malta voted upon in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and which had been adopted 18 months ago. The resolution consisted of a series of recommendations to the Maltese authorities on achieving justice for Caruana Galizia and ending impunity for high-level corruption.
Grech noted that similarly, prime minister Robert Abela is doing all he could to ensure that the public inquiry is brought to an abrupt closure.
“Yesterday we have seen the government in an unprecedented attack against the judiciary when in a statement the government made it clear it does not want the public inquiry to go on. It also warned the board that it must assume ‘responsibility’ for the consequences,” Grech wrote on Facebook.
He observed that such attitude was dangerous.
“Who doesn’t like the truth, is doing all they can to ensure it does not emerge,” he said, before adding that if one wants the country to move forward we should not fear what will emerge.
“Those who fear public inquiries have a lot to hide” – National Book Council chair
Those who fear public inquiries and the truth are those who have a lot to hide, National Book Council chairperson Mark Camilleri wrote on Facebook.
“A public inquiry is not held to serve political interests of a party or another,” Camilleri stated, adding that thanks to the public inquiry, new truths transpired into the public domain.
“I fully support the judges to continue with their work in the name of the truth,” Camilleri said.
Fenech’s lawyer approaches Camilleri
Following his status, Mark Camilleri was approached by Dr Juliette Galea who has recently described herself as counsel to murder suspect Yorgen Fenech on matters relating to the public inquiry.
Camilleri took to social media and published the exchange captioning it “I don’t know what Fenech’s lawyer is expecting out of me?”
ADPD slams government threats
“The mafia state is showing its true colours through PM Robert Abela’s brazen intimidation of the members of the inquiry,” ADPD said on Wednesday as it slammed the government’s reaction.
The newly merged political party said that the statement issued by the government on the public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia exposed the “state of panic” about the proceedings.
“Having clear terms of reference to investigate potential culpability of the state, its branches and more specifically of its state sponsored actors for the journalist’s assassination is now being publicly attacked by the same state under inquiry,” ADPD said.
“It is clear that we have a puppet government and a puppet prime minister which are controlled by the interests of the same mafia state.”
It invited the government to abide by the terms of reference of the public inquiry in its commitment in the search for justice and truth. ADPD said it will hold the government and prime minister accountable to its statement that the board of public inquiry is independent and that its desired timeframe is without prejudice to the proper fulfilment of its terms of reference.