The rapporteur of PACE, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and rule of law in Malta welcomed the government’s pledge to carry out a public inquiry into the journalist’s murder.

The government said on Wednesday it would launch a public inquiry into the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia in the coming months, sticking to a three-month deadline set by the Council of Europe.

Pieter Omtzigt said in a statement: “This inquiry should be conducted by a truly independent panel chaired by a retired or international judge and including trusted representatives of civil society with no political or government links.”

It should concentrate on how the assassination could have been prevented, how similar murders could be avoided in future and what needed to be done to ensure that cases of high-level corruption such as those disclosed by Ms Caruana Galizia were properly investigated without journalists having to risk their lives, he said.

Such an inquiry, he said, would not impinge on the ongoing criminal investigations against the suspected killers in detention and the organisers and instigators of the crime who were still at large.

On June 27, PACE adopted a resolution on the case which invited the Maltese authorities to set up a public inquiry into the assassination within three months.

Similar calls were made in the past by Ms Caruana Galizia’s family and international media freedom organisations and MEPs.