Repubblika condemns Abela’s arbitrary deadline extension for Daphne inquiry

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Repubblika castigated Prime Minister Robert Abela for his “one-time extension” of the deadline for the conclusion of the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, deeming it “outrageous, unnecessary and not in the interest of justice.”

Earlier in the day, in the inquiry’s latest sitting, the inquiry board read out a letter from Abela confirming that the deadline would be extended to 15 December.

The decision was met with concern by MP Therese Comodini Cachia, one of the Caruana Galizia family’s lawyers, who insisted that the family required adequate time to make its written submissions after all witnesses were heard, and that the inquiry board needed time to finalise its own report. Judge Abigail Lofaro, the only sitting member of the judiciary forming part of the inquiry board, emphasised that she had other duties to attend to, though the board reserved the right to reply to Abela at a later stage.

In a statement to the press, Repubblika recalled that the inquiry sought to determine whether the state, through commission or omission, played a role in the assassination of Caruana Galizia. It insisted that the inquiry’s foremost interest must be the search for the truth with respect to the stated terms of reference, which must lead to justice for Caruana Galizia, her family and Maltese society.

“Setting seemingly arbitrary constraints on the procedure for the uncovering of this truth is both unnecessary and outrageous and can only be considered an attempt to hinder this procedure,” Repubblika insisted.

The NGO reminded Abela of the public’s anger at the arrogance of Joseph Muscat, which led to the “downfall of his disgraced predecessor.”

“Let that be a lesson learnt,” it advised, adding that the search for truth must not be constrained.