The independent public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia announced on Friday, has significantly broader terms of reference than that originally announced back in September.  

The announcement of the inquiry, which saw two of the three members changed, came just a few hours before the Council of Europe was set to discuss concerns raised over its impartiality and scope.

A closer look at its terms of reference show some significant changes in its scope to investigate on the murder of the journalist, and on the events before and after the assassination.

Here are nine ways it has changed.  

1. Inquiry will be published

Perhaps the greatest change to the terms of reference of the new inquiry is the requirement to publish the board’s findings.  

While the original deadline of nine months for the inquiry’s conclusion was retained, the new terms of reference say that the document must be published within eight working days from it being handed to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.  
Dr Muscat is also required to table the report in Parliament within five working days of receiving it.  

2. Redactions possible

The board of inquiry now has the power to restrict the disclosure of certain parts of documents or evidence submitted in the inquiry if "strictly necessary" to safeguard public safety, data protection, national security, and ongoing or future criminal investigations, and when the publication of such information could endanger a person’s life. This was not stated in the initial terms of reference.

3. Family can read through full document

While parts of the finalised inquiry report may be redacted, the new terms of reference say that the family can be given the opportunity to read through the full unredacted document but will not be granted a copy. They will also be bound "with not divulging the restricted contents".

4. An assassination not a death  

The new terms of reference for the inquiry make it clear that Ms Caruana Galizia was assassinated.  The original inquiry was set up to look into “the death” of the late journalist while the new terms of reference repeatedly refers to how she was in fact assassinated.  

5. Did the State cause a risk to Daphne's life?

The original terms of reference said the inquiry would look into whether the State had effective deterrents and criminal investigative powers in place. It also laid out that the inquiry would look into whether the State was able to avoid a de facto state of impunity through the frequent occurrence of unsolved crimes.

The new inquiry however adds that the inquiry will establish whether the State “caused” a real immediate risk to Ms Carauna Galizia’s life.  

6. Time window is wider 

The original terms of reference said that the inquiry would look into whether the State could have known about the risk to the journalist's life “at the time” from criminal acts of a third party.

The new terms of reference have specifically removed the phrase “at the time”, widening the window in which the State may have failed.   

7. Restrictions on disclosure of evidence 

Although the original inquiry had the ability to hold certain hearings in private to protect confidentiality, the new inquiry also has the power to set restrictions on the disclosure or publication of any document or evidence involved.  

8. Family can be involved in proceedings

The new terms of reference say that the board will not only provide the family access to the proceedings, but may also allow them to “participate” in the proceedings. It does not expand on what this means.  

9. Technical experts can be appointed

Another change to the inquiry is the board's new ability to appoint any technical experts it requires to fulfil its mandate.   These experts would have to meet the same level of independence and impartiality as that required by a court of law.  

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