Europol should be more involved in the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, MEP Sophia in ’t Veld said.

The Dutch MEP was chosen to chair a rule of law monitoring group that will look into the investigations of the murders of Ms Caruana Galizia and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak.

Speaking to the Times of Malta, Ms in ’t Veld insisted: “It would be really good if Europol were part of the investigation.

“Europol does not have access to the case file as it would have had it been more involved in the investigation.”

She admitted she could not tell what a bigger involvement by Europol would mean in the outcome of the investigation but felt it would help to restore trust in the authorities. She noted that Europol had previously raised its concerns about the investigation in Malta.

In a letter to MEP Ana Gomes, then Europol executive director Rob Wainwright had described Ms Caruana Galizia’s investigation as “highly complex”.

A spokesman for the Office of the Prime Minister had told journalists the Maltese authorities were cooperating with Europol “at every level” and that it was willing to make “any improvements necessary” to better cooperation.

Ms in ’t Veld said the rule of law monitoring group would be visiting Malta again in September.

The group agreed on a number of actions it would take and will be drawing up a programme for its six-month mandate, she added. Public hearings and one-on-one meetings with the authorities, NGOs and Europol were being planned.

“I understand that the situation is very sensitive and not everyone will be very happy about our visit but everybody needs to have complete trust in the system, the authorities and the rule of law,” she added.

“The whole situation has divided society. There are political divisions and a lot of distrust.”

The rule of law monitoring group was set up by the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee after concerns were expressed about the lack of progress in both murder investigations and “repeated claims of harassment and intimidation of journalists”.

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola is the European People’s Party group representative on the committee.

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