Pieter Omtzigt, the Dutch MP who led the Council of Europe’s drive to force Malta to hold a public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, is applying pressure for Malta to implement the inquiry’s recommendations and to bring the murder’s alleged mastermind, Yorgen Fenech, to justice.
In a written question to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee of Ministers, Omtzigt, who fought a concerted battle with the government and then-Attorney General Peter Grech as rapporteur on the report on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and rule of law in Malta, is asking for action to be taken to “encourage” Malta to fully implement the public inquiry’s recommendations and to ensure satisfactory progress is made in bringing Fenech to trial.
“When will the Committee of Ministers take action to encourage Malta to complete the implementation, to international standards, all of the recommendations of the public inquiry, ensuring transparency at all stages of the process and to ensure Malta is making sufficient progress in bringing the accused to trial without delay?” Omtzigt asked the Committee of Ministers in a question that will get a written answer in due course.
Omtzigt noted how the public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination had been forced by the Council of Europe and made several recommendations “to address organised crime and corruption and to protect the lives of journalists and strengthen public interest in journalism.
“Malta has not implemented the recommendations.
“Yorgen Fenech, who has close ties to many leading political figures in Malta including former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was detained as the alleged mastermind but has still not faced trial by jury.”
Commenting on Omtzigt’s pointed questions, Maltese MEP David Casa took to Twitter to say, “There is no justice until every recommendation in the public inquiry is implemented fully. The Maltese government’s talk is cheap but the lack of results is clear as day. The rights at stake belong to all Europeans, which is why Europe will continue pushing for justice for Daphne.”
The most recent annual report by the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Safety of Journalists noted how the government of Malta has “failed to implement in good faith” the public inquiry recommendations established after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017.