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Who said what on The Shift? The 10 most memorable quotes from 2019

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, LGBTIQ Activist Christian Pace and OSCE Representative Harlem Desir.

1. “The best way to protect journalists is to investigate and follow up on their work.” Paul Caruana Galizia.

Daphne Caruana Galizia’s son Paul spoke about the importance of protection during his testimony in the ongoing public inquiry that was set up, following two years of constant campaigning by the family, to investigate whether her assassination could have been prevented. Calls for an independent inquiry were also made in a Council of Europe report that looked into the state of the rule of law in Malta.

2. “I feel disgusted when, every time Castille is shrouded in dark clouds of scandals, the first trick in the book is to pull the civil rights card.” Christian Pace, LGBTIQ activist

Christian Pace, an LGBTIQ activist, spoke out for the first time at a national protest in December. In 2018, The Shift News’ investigation into Labour’s secret online hate groups – numbering 60,000 members and administered by government and Labour officials – had found thousands of violently homophobic and transphobic comments.

3. “This extraordinary situation in Malta bears comparison to the role of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.” Sarah Clarke, ARTICLE 19

Sarah Clarke.

Sarah Clarke, head of Europe and Central Asia for international human rights organisation Article 19, compared Joseph Muscat’s interference with the criminal investigation and public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who had been tortured and dismembered in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

4. “There can be no mercy for those who killed Daphne Caruana Galizia.” OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir

In an interview with The Shift, Desir said he was visiting Malta “to pay tribute to her memory and to her legacy” two years since her assassination on 16 October 2017. Speaking to The Shift editor and founder Caroline Muscat, Desir stressed the importance of defending press freedom and the public’s right to know. 

5. “What the fuck Joe.” Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

This phrase was written by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat who was replying to an e-mail, seen by The Shift, sent by Labour Party activist Joe Dalli. The correspondence revealed Dalli’s accusations of the government ignoring complaints on developer Joseph Portelli’s illegalities for more than five years.

6. “Now we know that this was not the biggest lie that Muscat depicted it to be, but the most expensive cover up that our citizens were made to pay.” Opposition Leader Adrian Delia

PN leader Adrian Delia

In an exclusive interview with The Shift News, following his publication of the Egrant inquiry, Adrian Delia confirmed what The Shift had been saying all along: that the inquiry asked the wrong questions. The Egrant report is an inquiry into claims made by Caruana Galizia, alleging that the Prime Minister’s wife Michelle Muscat is the owner of the Panamanian company Egrant.

7. “Impunity in any society erodes the rule of law.” Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) Executive Secretary Gianluca Esposito,

In an interview with The Shift, Esposito discussed money laundering, corruption and impunity in Malta. “Impunity in any society erodes the rule of law and the trust people have in public institutions,” he said. “It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that, in any member state, no one is above the law.”

8. “Go away, because I’ll kill you.” Maltese man to a journalist.

Men are filmed by French M6 TV crew removing flowers and photos at the protest memorial in Valletta.

A French journalist was harassed in September while filming the removal of flowers and candles at the Caruana Galizia protest memorial in Valletta. A Maltese man started shouting at the crew, telling journalist Camille Le Pomellec: “go back to your country, see the problems there”. The man then stood up and approached the camera adding “Go away, because I’ll kill you”.

9. “Journalism is not just a job, it’s a calling, an act of service, an act of necessity.” Alan Rusbridger

Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian, academic, and chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism was among an international list of journalists, press freedom organisations and media experts at the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Awards who praised The Shift founder and editor Caroline Muscat for winning the prestigious Reporters Without Borders award for Independence.

10. “A shameless regime.” Special Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Pieter Omtzigt

In an interview, Omtzigt called for Muscat’s immediate resignation in in the national interest. Referring to the government as “a shameless regime”, Omtzigt said the only way to avoid them now was for Muscat to remove himself immediately from any position that could allow him to influence the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s assassination.

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