Government parliamentary whip Glenn Bedingfield maintains he played no part in facilitating the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia after a public inquiry last week concluded that he carried out a sustained campaign to denigrate her.
Replying to questions sent by Times of Malta, Bedingfield said: “I played absolutely no role in facilitating any murder”.
He was contacted after the conclusions of the public inquiry into the car bomb assassination of Caruana Galizia were published.
The inquiry found that the state should be held responsible for failing to prevent the October 2017 assassination and for in part enabling it by fostering a “culture of impunity”.
That situation led to the journalist being increasingly isolated “as she took on the nexus of politics and big business, with authorities unresponsive to evident risks to her life”.
The panel of three judges highlighted the sustained denigrating and strong campaign against Caruana Galizia.
Its worst expression, the public inquiry found, was a blog that was set up and led by Bedingfield, who used to occupy a role in the Office of the Prime Minister in Castille after Labour swept to power in 2013.
I will contribute to implement the recommendations
Bedingfield did not weigh in on his now-defunct blog and instead said he endorsed a speech made by Prime Minister Robert Abela the day after the inquiry was published.
“I believe his reaction tackles the various aspects of the inquiry, and I back his assessment, including the lessons we must all learn from this episode,” he said.
“As a former journalist myself, I will contribute through my parliamentary role to implement the recommendations, particularly those related to strengthening the journalistic profession,” Bedingfield added.
Bedingfield has already spoken out against the public inquiry, even before its findings were published, insisting it had become politicised.
Writing on Facebook in September 2020, Bedingfield had said that it was clear that the inquiry process had gone beyond the truth of the facts of the murder itself.
At the time the inquiry board had indicated it would not be sticking with a deadline set by the government.
When summoned to testify before the inquiry, Bedingfield had said his blog lent a voice to those ridiculed by Caruana Galizia.
He presented a list of more than 500 people he said had been targeted by Caruana Galizia.
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