Sunday’s media revelations raise serious questions about whether Malta’s authorities really left no stone unturned in response to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Council of Europe rapporteur has said.
Pieter Omtzigt in a series of tweets asked why the government had refused to strike a deal with one of the suspects, Vince Muscat, (who reportedly had cooperated with the police).
He also queried whether information about the police investigation could have been passed up the chain, reaching top government officials and eventually “passed on” to potential suspects.
Today's Malta media revelations raise serious questions about whether the authorities really left no stone unturned in their response to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia: here are some of them @BorgJake @Earthling70 @Manwel_Delia— Pieter Omtzigt (@PieterOmtzigt) October 6, 2019
Dutch MP Omtzigt was reacting to a story in The Sunday Times of Malta, which reported how a major businessman is one of the key potential suspects behind the October 2017 car bombing.
Mr Omtzigt raised serious questions about whether there will ever be justice for assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, given the Prime Minister’s firm grip on key institutions.
“If Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi are connected to a potential suspect and their boss, Joseph Muscat, appoints the police chief, the Attorney General and the judges, can there ever be justice for Daphne?”, the MP questioned.
The Prime Minister’s office did not respond to an immediate request for comment on the key points raised by Mr Omtzigt.
A Council of Europe report compiled by Mr Omtzigt about the journalist's death concluded that Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi enjoy "total impunity" under the Prime Minister's protection.
Mr Omtzigt questioned why no arrests had been made beyond the three suspects charged with carrying out the bomb plot.
He also queried why the government refused to strike a deal with one of the suspects, Vince Muscat, (who reportedly had cooperated with the police).
The MP asked if everything necessary was being done to protect him, along with other potential witnesses, as well as the lawyers and journalists involved.
Following through on this point, Mr Omtzigt also questioned if everything necessary was being done to preserve evidence and prevent the flight of potential witnesses and suspects.
“Why has the Attorney General not used his powers to secure evidence?”
All of these questions must be examined by the independent public inquiry, which is all the more reason why it must be truly independent and public, unlike the current proposal, the Council of Europe rapporteur said.
Mr Omtzigt also picked up on reports about judge Aaron Bugeja recusing himself from the upcoming trial of the three suspects.
He questioned how much disruption this recusal will cause to the upcoming case.
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