The UK Bureau Director for Reporters Without Borders got a taste of the justice system in Malta after following the 24 libel cases against slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia scheduled for Thursday only to conclude that “nothing substantive happened”.
Two cases brought by Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi had to be postponed as the lawyer requested more time. Other cases were those filed by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, Phyllis Muscat, former Head of CHOGM and a frequent traveller with the Prime Minister’s wife, and the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Malta Alfred Mifsud.
The 19 cases filed by property developer Silvio Debono could not be heard because the lawyer failed to bring any witnesses to court. One witness, James Camenzuli representing Projects Malta which also falls under Minister Mizzi, was found to be in contempt of court.
Vincent recorded this detail on her Twitter account. “A frustrating waste of time for all involved – and just a glimpse of what Daphne Caruana Galizia was facing at the time of her murder”.
In another post, she noted that William Cuschieri – the lawyer acting for Debono in the 19 cases filed against the journalist – was the same lawyer defending one of the three suspects arraigned in relation to Caruana Galizia’s assassination.
In total, 34 libel cases remained open against Caruana Galizia after her assassination on 16 October.
On Twitter, Vincent also said she is “appalled” at the targeting of Caruana Galizia’s memorial before the law courts in Valletta.
“Also appalling to see that overnight, the photo of Daphne Caruana Galizia was removed from her memorial and had to be replaced this morning. This has become a near daily occurrence,” she said.
Reporters Without Borders, or Reporters Sans Frontières, is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press. The organisation has called for a full independent investigation into Caruana Galizia’s assassination.
Vincent will be speaking at the march organised by anti-corruption activist group Il-Kenniesa on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary since Caruana Galizia launched her blog ‘Running Commentary’. Vincent will focus on the importance of free press and talk on the work RSF are doing on Caruana Galzia’s investigation.
Those attending are encouraged to take an article of Caruana Galizia’s. People wanting to read the article will be given the time, the organisers said.