European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has expressed concern about the current situation in Malta and called on the authorities to ensure that all those behind the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia are brought to justice.

The matter was raised on Wednesday during the meeting of the College of European Commissioners, which president von der Leyen chaired in Brussels.

Addressing the media at the end of the meeting, she expressed “concern” on the recent developments, adding that the Commission was “following the situation very closely”.

She said that journalists must be safe to work in Europe, as otherwise democracy as we know it would be under threat.

 

“I will not comment on ongoing national investigations. However, what I would say is that I expect it be a thorough and independent investigation, free from any political interference,” Ms von der Leyen said.

Her comments echo those of EU commissioner Vera Jourova, who spoke with Justice Minister Owen Bonnici on Tuesday. 

Europol backing

President von der Leyen noted that Europol was in Malta providing support to the local authorities.

“It is crucial that all those responsible are brought to justice as soon as possible,” she added.

The head of the Commission pointed out that they were in contact with the Maltese authorities on the reform of the judicial system and would continue working with the authorities to accelerate these reforms.