Protest tonight after public inquiry report holds state responsible for journalist’s assassination

'Impunity spread outward to other entities like regulatory institutions and the police, leading to the collapse of the rule of law' - inquiry findings


Civil society organisations Repubblika and Occupy Justice have announced a protest at the square before the prime minister’s office in Valletta this evening following the publication of the public inquiry into journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination earlier today.

The public inquiry board tasked with determining whether the government was responsible for the conditions which led to the journalist’s assassination has concluded that ‘the state has to shoulder responsibility for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia’.

The board’s conclusions are based on 93 court sittings involving 120 witnesses since the start of the inquiry in December 2018.

The board’s extensive report explicitly outlined how the state “created an atmosphere of impunity, generated from the highest levels in the heart of the administration of the Office of the Prime Minister,” comparing the outward spread of corruption to the tentacles of an octopus.

“Impunity spread outward to other entities like regulatory institutions and the police, leading to the collapse of the rule of law,” the report continues, arguing that the state and its entities “did not recognise immediate risks including the criminal intent of third parties towards the life of Daphne Caruana Galizia”.

“The State failed to take measures within the scope of its powers which, with reasonable judgement, the State was expected to take to avoid that risk,” the report continues.

The report also concluded that the main motivation behind the assassination of Caruana Galizia was “intrinsically, if not exclusively” linked to her work as a journalist.

The police force has not responded to immediate requests for comment from The Shift. However, the board’s report indicates that police commissioner Angelo Gafa’ had told them that investigations are ongoing and that the corps will not be excluding any other persons who need to be investigated.

The board also highlighted how Labour’s “business-first” policy turned into “an extended culture of impunity not just for the highest officials in public administration, including persons of trust, but also for a restricted circle of politicians, businessmen and criminals”.

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