International press freedom organisations and local civil society groups have called on the Maltese authorities to reject a second request by George Degiorgio for prison leave that was filed just two weeks after reports emerged that he had been granted special leave to attend a baptism party.
In a statement online, the International Press Institute described the request as “absurd and insulting” and demanded that the prison authorities reject it immediately. The European Federation of Journalists also supported the statement.
🇲🇹#Malta: George Degiorgio, an assassin convicted to 40 years in prison for murdering journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, has asked to be let out of jail to attend his daughter’s birthday party. IPI demands prison authorities immediately reject this absurd & insulting request. pic.twitter.com/WiMFBxSvOA
— IPI – The Global Network for Independent Media (@globalfreemedia) March 14, 2023
The European Centre for Press & Media Freedom also called on the authorities, writing that “Maltese authorities should make sure he does his time. Prison should not be a hotel where people come and go as they please”.
George Degiorgio is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence for the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, as well as a separate sentence for money laundering. Apart from those two convictions, he is also charged with being complicit in an ongoing case about the 2015 murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop.
On 25 February, the Times of Malta revealed that Degiorgio was granted prison leave to attend a family baptism party. The same newspaper reported on Tuesday evening that a second request was filed on March 9, this time seeking permission to spend two hours at his daughter’s birthday party on March 22.
In a separate statement online, Article 19 also urged that the request be firmly denied “as it would undermine the gravity of the murder conviction”.
George Degiorgio who is serving a 40-year sentence for #DaphneCaruanaGalizia's murder has asked to be let out of prison for his daughter's birthday party. The authorities in #Malta should firmly deny this request as it would undermine the gravity of the murder conviction.
— ARTICLE 19 ECA (@article19europe) March 14, 2023
“A swift response from authorities refusing this preposterous request is needed. Murderers should be doing time in prison & not using it as a launch pad for partying. This makes a mockery of justice and the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia,” wrote the civil society group Repubblika.
Similarly, Occupy Justice said they expect the authorities to refuse this request, adding that “there is no justice in a murderer gallivanting around at parties, while his victim’s family will never see their mother, wife, daughter, sister again”.
Daphne Caruana Galizia children cannot invite their mother for their birthday or their babies baptism. Why should the hired assassin ? What happened to the ” Money Talks” investigation? Was it real and therefore simply deleted from history? Save yourself lying Gafa.
Kollox ġabu teatrin… il-Parlament, il-Ministeri, l-awtoritajiet, l-entitajiet pubbliċi, il-forzi tal-ordni, saħansitra anka l-ħabs. Pajjiżna ġie mandra. Pajjiż “tat-titottla”.