An official from the Office of the Prime Minister has told the people who paid their respects on Friday to slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia to “get a life”.

In a post on Facebook, OPM official Neville Gafà, who is a close associate of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, drew comparisons between the “negative few” who attended Ms Caruana Galizia’s five-month memorial event and the “reality” of thousands of revellers celebrating St Patrick’s Day.

“Spot the difference; the few negative vs reality. #Getalife,” Mr Gafà wrote in the post, which included side-by-side photos of Friday’s memorial event in Valletta and St Patrick’s Day revellers on Saturday.

The photos of those in St Julian’s on Saturday night were used by a number of government officials to make a point about the slain journalist’s last words in her final blog post.

“There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate,” Ms Caruana Galizia wrote in the post hours before she was blown up in her car.

Using and abusing the mantra to depict fear and chaos, which is far from the reality

The Head of the EU Secretariat at the European Affairs and Equality Ministry, Alex Saliba, put up a post and picture about the St Patrick’s Day celebrations and Ms Caruana Galizia’s last utterance about the “desperate” situation in Malta.

Dr Saliba justified his post by saying the PN was “using and abusing” the mantra “the situation is desperate” to depict a situation of fear and chaos in Malta, which was far from the reality.

Asked by a German journalist how he could say this was far from reality when a journalist probing corruption had been killed, Dr Saliba said he never had, and never would justify murder.

“DCG’s murder was a frontal attack on our democracy, I will leave it up to our courts to bring justice after this heinous crime. Still, I have the right to voice my opinion that Malta is a safe country where rule of law is respected,” Dr Saliba said.

Activists on Monday called for the resignation of V18 chief Jason Micallef over the “disparaging” remarks he made about the slain journalist’s last words.

In his Facebook post picturing the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, activists said Mr Micallef had “made fun” of a statement made in Ms Caruana Galizia’s blog hours before she was blown up.

“St Patrick’s Day in Malta. The situation is desperate. There are happy people everywhere you look,” Mr Micallef wrote. The post drew an immediate reaction from the Civil Society Network (CSN), with activists saying his divisive and insensitive attitude was not worthy of a State official heading the European Capital of Culture.

The CSN said Mr Micallef had in the past also attacked activists’ freedom of speech by suggesting their actions of protest should be stopped.

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