On Monday evening, people gathered before the Great Siege Monument in Valletta 63 months after the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia to pay their respects, commemorate her and reiterate the call for justice.
The speakers at Wednesday’s vigil included Repubblika Vice-President Alessandra Dee Crespo, Repubblika Executive Committee Member Matthew Grech and lawyer and Occupy Justice activist Martina Farrugia, among others.
Taking the stage first was Alessandra Dee Crespo, who opened her speech by referencing the arrest of Italy’s most wanted mafia boss, Matteo Messina Denaro, who was caught at a private hospital in Sicily on Monday after being on the run since 1993.
“Thirty years. Matteo Messina Denaro has been running from justice for 30 years. The relatives of his victims have been waiting for justice for 30 years. The victims’ families and civil society have been applying pressure for justice to be served for 30 years. The police had been looking for him for 30 years. Finally, they found him and arrested him,” she noted.
She added that justice catches up with everyone, eventually: “That’s why we must not give up hope that full justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia will be achieved.”
Pointing out that many individuals have yet to answer for their actions in court, she observed how they are still out and about because they have friends at Castille and within the police force.
“But it won’t be forever,” Repubblika’s Vice-President said, underscoring that people will not forget. “This why we gather here every 16th of the month so that we may not forget.”
Martina Farrugia went on to remember all those who died on the job in the construction industry and referenced how 19 years after the incident, the family of Rita Vella, a woman buried in her own home, have still not found justice.
“More shocking is the trial that will continue tomorrow. Sion Grech was beaten up and stabbed 17 times and left to die in a field in 2005. Her partner and his friend were accused of the crime. It took 18 years for this murder case to get to trial. Both Sion’s
parents have since passed away. What sort of justice system is this?” Farrugia asked.
Farrugia remarked that these incidents all have to do with justice for Caruana Galizia because the root cause is the same. “Corruption, impunity for crimes and harassment, laissez-faire attitude of prosecution and politicians lead to the same bottom line. Shoddy standards cut corners and, ultimately, casualties.”
“We can choose to build a society that gives due importance to justice”, observed Matthew Grech, “and one that prioritises equality where everyone, no matter where they are from, has access to health services, education, and even work opportunities.
“Or we can build a society where what we value the most is money paying no matter how it is obtained, how much of the environment we destroy, how many vulnerable people we exploit, how much of other people’s money is spent or stolen as long as we’re making as much money as we can.”