The UK House of Commons has received a motion for the UK parliament to condemn the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and to urge Prime Minister Robert Abela to cease efforts to interfere in the public inquiry looking into the murder of the journalist.
The motion commends Caruana Galizia’s courageous investigative reporting exposing corruption in Malta and beyond and highlights the importance of protecting the independence and impartiality of the ongoing public inquiry.
It also calls on the Maltese government to request a Europol Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to assist with the case, something which the Maltese government has repeatedly refused arguing that it is already cooperating with the European Agency.
The journalist’s son, Matthew, had told The Shift that a JIT is different from what the government refers to as ‘collaboration’ adding that only a JIT can ensure a proper umbrella investigation looking into murder and corruption.
The motion urges the Maltese government to implement all outstanding recommendations of the 26 June 2019 resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe titled ‘Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Assassination and the Rule of Law in Malta and Beyond: Ensuring that the Whole Truth Emerges’.
It also notes with concern the fact that Malta has dropped 34 places in Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index since Caruana Galizia’s assassination and is now ranked 81st out of 180 countries.
Meanwhile, press freedom NGO Reporters without Borders (RSF) has issued a statement saying that the pursuit of justice remains elusive as the 10 month-old administration of Prime Minister Robert Abela fails to implement meaningful reforms.
“Those accused of planning and carrying out the attack have still not been brought to trial, whilst Abela has attempted to interfere with the ongoing public inquiry. Meanwhile, the country’s media climate remains deeply divided, and journalists who continue to pursue in-depth investigative reporting do so at great risk,” the NGO said in a statement.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) International Campaign Director Rebecca Vincent added that allowing impunity to “fester in the heart of the EU leaves the door open for further attacks on journalists. A clear signal must now be sent that this will not be allowed to happen again in the EU, or anywhere.”
At the two-year mark, RSF and The Shift News had published a detailed report outlining the Maltese authorities’ failings in the aftermath of Caruana Galizia’s assassination, and international recommendations to address the systemic problems that allowed for the attack to occur and ensure that justice is served.
“A full year later, these recommendations remain largely unheeded, with the exception of the establishment of a public inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s assassination – a hard-won advocacy battle secured through international pressure, cumulating in a deadline being set by a key resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in June 2019,” RSF said in a statement.
RSF marked the third year anniversary of the Caruana Galizia’s murder in small, distanced vigils in London and Berlin.