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Daphne Caruana Galizia investigation in breach of human rights, international lawyers warn

“External, impartial investigators essential and extremely urgent”

Antonio Di Pietro
Antonio di Pietro speaking at a justice rally last Sunday. Photo: Paul Borg Olivier.

International lawyers at Doughty Street Chambers have advised Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family that the investigation into her assassination violates procedural requirements of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

In a legal opinion issued today, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Jonathan Price say “we are of the firm view that Malta is in flagrant violation of the Article 2 investigative duty and thus in breach of its obligations under the ECHR”.

They also state that “from the information available at this stage it appears highly likely to us that the Maltese authorities have also violated other human rights of Ms Caruana Galizia and the bereaved family, under Articles 2, 3, 8, 10 and/ or 13 ECHR (and indeed under other international human rights treaties and domestic law).”

The lawyers conclude that Malta is in breach of its obligations to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family under the ECHR.

Their legal opinion calls for swift action to be taken by the authorities in Malta to immediately remove the Deputy Commissioner from his role and to apologise to the family “for the failure to appropriately update and involve them in the investigation, and alter the way in which information is provided to them to comply with Article 2’s requirements.”

They further note that the involvement of external, impartial investigators is “an essential requirement, and an extremely urgent one.”

Investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in a car bomb on October 16. Three men with a long criminal history were arraigned last week, following a hasty press conference by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announcing 10 arrests. The family said they learnt of the arrests of “low-level” criminals through the media.

Demands continue to be made for an investigation that would determine the mastermind behind the assassination.

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