NGO network calls on organisations and diplomats to monitor public inquiry

Malta law courts
Malta's law courts in Republic Street, Valletta. Photo: Berthold Werner

International NGO network IFEX has called on media, international governmental organisations and diplomats to monitor the public inquiry hearings into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

IFEX is an international network of over 100 NGOs promoting and defending freedom of expression as a fundamental human right and advocating for the free expression rights of all.

In an article published earlier this year titled “Progress in the fight against impunity, journalists freed, defamation decriminalised”, IFEX highlights the developments that have been made with regards the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

They reinstated their call for prime minister Joseph Muscat “to step down immediately because of his multiple conflicts of interest.”

“Muscat not only has close links to a number of individuals (including members of his own government) who are implicated in the murder investigation, he himself is implicated through his connection to murder suspect Yorgen Fenech,” they said, referring to items which were gifted to Muscat by Fenech.

Fenech was arrested in connection with the murder last November and the case is currently ongoing. In December, local media revealed that Fenech had gifted Muscat a watch costing €20,000 and three bottles of wine totalling €5,000. The latter was given to him when Muscat was already aware that Fenech was a murder suspect. 

Going on to mention the public inquiry which began on the 6 December 2019, IFEX members called on media, international governmental organisations and diplomats to monitor the hearing.

The independent board of inquiry, which is currently underway, has been set up to establish whether Caruana Galizia’s murder could have been prevented.

Since it started, a number of revelations have come to light since it began over a month ago. Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia revealed that Head of Malta Developer’s Association Sandro Chetcuti had an office on the fourth floor of the Labour Party Headquarters in 2013 and that documentation keeping track of people who require police protection does not exist, amongst others.

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