Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Sunday said he wanted all the facts surrounding journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder to emerge.
Addressing a political activity in Rabat, Dr Muscat said he sat down with the Caruana Galizia family to reach an agreement about a public inquiry into the assassination.
“As a party, we need to establish ourselves as the movement that safeguards institutions. We need to be there to show, and facts will continue to show, that institutions in our country are working”.
Dr Muscat said he sat around the negotiating table to show how the Maltese state wants all the facts to come out.
Ms Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in October 2017.
The Prime Minister said no one would be able to act with impunity.
“Tough decisions will always be taken. That’s the job you entrusted me with”, Dr Muscat said.
Dr Muscat said he had always taken such decision and would continue to do so.
The Prime Minister dedicated a portion of his speech to explain and justify why his chief of staff Keith Schembri dropped a libel case to avoid testifying about 17 Black, a shell company owned by power station investor Yorgen Fenech.
A leaked e-mail from the Panama Papers shows Mr Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi planned to receive significant amounts of money from 17 Black.
Dr Muscat said Mr Schembri’s lawyers knew their client would win the libel case, but feared a potential conflict of interest by the magistrate hearing the case would be attacked at the appeal stage.
Magistrate Victor Axiak said in court on Monday that he was approached by an unnamed individual, who reminded him that he had done legal work for Mr Schembri’s company back in 2010.
Dr Muscat said his chief of staff had refrained from testifying as such testimony could prejudice an ongoing inquiry into 17 Black.
The inquiry has relied on receiving information about 17 Black from the United Arab Emirates, a jurisdiction that failed to cooperate with Maltese authorities during the Egrant inquiry.
Dr Muscat said he hoped the inquiry would not take long to conclude, so that all the facts could emerge.
He reminded about he had tied his own political fate to the outcome of the Egrant inquiry, and time had proved him right.
The Prime Minister said he would be in a position to take decisions once the outcome of the 17 Black inquiry was known.
Dr Muscat said he would continue to ensure in the coming weeks that the institutions would be able to do their job.
He slammed the Opposition for cherry-picking when to support the courts and when not to.
Dr Muscat said the government’s credibility and consistency clearly distinguished it from the “confused” Opposition, which he likened to a weather vane.
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