Opposition leader Adrian Delia took the occasion of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s birthday on Monday to renew calls for a public inquiry into the journalist’s murder nearly two years ago.
 
A Council of Europe report approved in June called for a public inquiry into whether Ms Caruana Galizia’s murder in October 2017 could have been prevented to be established within three months. 

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has not committed to this deadline, although foreign minister Carmelo Abela said in July that the government would “abide by the timing”.

In a statement on Monday, Dr Delia said the Opposition was concerned that the authorities were “showing no initiative” in uncovering who ordered the murder. 

“The government must immediately stop dragging its feet and do what it should have done as soon as Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed, which is to set up a board of inquiry free from any political stain. Only in this way will the rule of law be respected,” Dr Delia said. 

He noted the foreign minister’s commitment and said he had personally written to the Prime Minister on July 15, but had received no response. 

The Council of Europe report, Dr Delia said, had remarked on the sense of impunity over the murder, while an earlier report by Greco - the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption watchdog - had also criticised the government for its continued refusal to establish a public inquiry into the murder. 

He said the Opposition had presented a motion for such an inquiry in December 2018 but the government voted against it. 

“[The inquiry] is in the interest of the entire population, which is being deprived of information that is in its interests,” Dr Delia said. 

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

The Prime Minister said in June that the Attorney General advised against holding a public inquiry during court proceedings against the three men who currently stand charged with the journalist's murder. 

Foreign minister Mr Abela said it was “very clear that a public inquiry will be set up” within the timeframe indicated by the Council of Europe, but an OPM spokesman said the minister had “simply reiterated” the Prime Minister’s position. 

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