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Reporters Without Borders renews call for public inquiry after investigation leak

Daphne Caruana Galizia protest
Citizens calling for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia during a protest in Valletta on 16 October marking the one year anniversary since her assassination.

Reacting to contradictory information about the investigation on the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, international press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has renewed its calls for a public inquiry.

“While contradictory information circulates on the identification of those who commissioned the assassination of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, RSF asks the authorities for the utmost transparency on this issue and an independent public inquiry into the murder,” the organisation said on social media.

The statement was made after the Times of Malta reported on Sunday that “more than two masterminds” have been identified as commissioning the journalist’s assassination according “Malta’s top investigators”.

Speaking to The Shift News following the news, Caruana Galizia’s sister Corinne Vella said the family had not been informed of any developments in the investigation.

The sudden news that the “police were close to cracking the case” led to mixed reactions, with questions being raised on the timing of the leak.

The leak comes at a time when the government is cornered on 17 Black, facing increasing calls for the resignation of Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri.

Reuters’ journalist Stephen Grey, who worked on revelations relating to 17 Black with the Times of Malta, contested the story saying he was informed by “an authoritative source” that it was not true that the police had identified those who commissioned the journalist’s assassination.

Grey quotes his source saying: “We haven’t found who’s behind it yet… all leads are being investigated”.

Italian journalist Roberto Saviano also referred to the case, saying on Twitter that “developments of a serious investigation cannot be communicated informally and without informing those who have been asking for truth and justice for a year”.

The investigators who spoke to the Times of Malta, who were not named, gave no indication of whether the suspects come from the criminal, business or political world, according to the report. The sources quoted refer to “evidence that is not concrete,” and “a large amount of data that requires analysing” and then “more evidence in hand but won’t divulge more details”.

Delegations from the European Parliament and the Council of Europe have visited the country to hold interviews with government members, officials and law enforcement authorities demanding answers on the investigation as recently as last month. Yet there was no indication of any progress in the investigation until yesterday’s report saying the police were close to solving the crime.

RSF was among leading international press freedom organisations calling for a public inquiry, but Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has repeatedly refused. PEN International, European Centre for Media Freedom, the International Press Institute, the Committee to Protect Journalists supported the call.

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