‘Govt should not interfere in the public inquiry’ – Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The family of Daphne Caruana Galizia has filed a note of submission to the state-appointed board of the public inquiry into the circumstances of her assassination, concerning the Prime Minister’s letter informing the board that he is granting a one-time deadline extension to 15 December 2020.

In a statement issued by the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, it was explained how the board of inquiry stated that the new deadline is insufficient and a further extension will be necessary.

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation said that it is within the state-appointed board’s remit, and not the government’s, to decide when its work is complete and if the board decides it needs more time to fulfil its remit, the deadline of the public inquiry is automatically extended.

It was also stated that the Terms of Reference are very clear and the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation referred to paragraph 8 of the Terms of Reference, which government itself published on 15 November 2019. It states that the Board of Inquiry shall endeavour to conclude its work within a time frame of nine months without prejudice to the proper fulfilment of these terms of reference.

Imposing restrictions on the board runs counter to the inquiry’s Terms of Reference and amounts to a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, said the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation which also stated that the government’s role is to provide the board with the necessary resources to complete its task and to act on the recommendations of its final report.

‘If PM Abela wants the truth to be out he would not hinder the true course of justice’

The anti-corruption NGO, Repubblika deplored the fact that the Kuciak family has not been served justice at the trial for the murder of Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, Maria Kusnirova which, as in Malta, had provoked protests that brought thousands into the street demanding justice.

On Thursday a Slovak court ruled that an influential businessman was not guilty in the case of the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak. The court found one other defendant guilty of taking part in the murder but did not find evidence the hit was ordered by businessman Marian Kocner.

The murder prompted mass street protests and led to the reshaping of the country’s political landscape.

Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova were gunned down in their home outside Bratislava in February 2018, in a killing that mirrored the murder in Malta four months earlier of another journalist investigating corruption, Daphne Caruana Galizia.

“Repubblika is shocked and frustrated at the news that impunity in the political world always seems to strike in democracies that are not strong enough to withstand the trial of true justice,” said the NGO which will support all those who will again be protesting for true justice to be done in Slovakia.

The anti-corruption NGO said that this news is all the more worrying following Robert Abela’s declaration that he will not renew the time limit for the Board of Inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia beyond December.

Repubblika said that if Robert Abela were a ‘serious prime minister, who really wants the truth to be out, he himself would be spurring the inquiry to reveal the whole truth, in order to undertake the radical reforms necessary to ensure impartial justice, and not be the first to hinder it.’

The NGO also stated that it will not tolerate any hindrance to the true course of justice, especially due to the false obstacle of time limitations, and will not hesitate to take necessary steps if this were to happen.