Pieter Omtzigt who is preparing a report for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the investigation into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta said on Monday that a preliminary overview of the case showed her assassination was “planned and premeditated long in advance”.
In an introductory memorandum, declassified by the committee on Monday, the rapporteur said a preliminary overview of the case raised “many issues concerning the rule of law in Malta, the progress made in investigating the murder, and the attitude and behaviour of certain senior public officials”.
He said he would proceed with his report on the basis of three working assumptions:
- the murder was “planned and premeditated long in advance”;
- the persons ultimately responsible for Caruana Galizia’s death “were motivated by her investigative work”;
- the “three arrested suspects were most likely acting under instructions”.
The way senior officials in the public administration were appointed suggests a remarkable concentration of power and influence in the hands of the prime minister, Omtzigt said.
Omtzigt has been authorised by PACE’s Legal Affairs Committee to receive information from anonymous sources and to protect the identity of anyone who provides such information.
Omtzigt added there was little to suggest the three arrested suspects had any personal motive to kill the journalist, since they had not been the subject of her investigations: “This implies that ultimate responsibility for her assassination lies with another person or persons.”
He also observed that “a number of serious, high-profile cases in recent years seem not to have been properly investigated”.
“At the same time, the authorities have taken rapid, firm action against whistleblowers who revealed essential information, or failed to provide them with protection,” Omtzigt said.
The rapporteur said he intended to organise a hearing to “hear first-hand from experts in different fields” about the investigation and the murder, as well as to visit Malta to speak to the authorities and other relevant interlocutors.