A delegation of European Parliament members will arrive in Malta for an urgent fact-finding mission on Monday, with several meetings including one with outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat confirmed.
Times of Malta is informed that Dutch MEP Sophie in’t Veld will be leading the delegation and that the Euro-parliamentarians will also meet the Opposition leader, the police commissioner, the attorney general, the Justice Minister, the Speaker as well as Daphne Caruana Galizia's family, journalists civil society and the Chamber of Advocates.
The MEPs will give a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. Ms in’t Veld will be accompanied by MEPs Roberta Metsola, Birgit Sippel, Sven Giegold, Assita Kanko, Stelios Kouloglou and Nicolaus Fest.
Earlier on Monday, one day after announcing his resignation effective January, Dr Muscat told press outside his office in Castille he would "limit" himself to the day-to-day operational side of running the administration. Come January, he said, a new prime minister would take any major decisions that needed to be taken.
'We will not be taking sides'
Speaking at the European Parliament on Thursday, when it was decided that a delegation would be coming to Malta, Ms in't Veld said there will be "no political interference" during the mission.
"We will not be taking sides and we will not be interfering in any police investigations or procedures. But we will make sure that the European Parliament keeps the pressure up so that justice is done and the truth will come to light," she said.
The European Parliament decided to send a delegation to Malta following revelations linking the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia to politics.
Caruana Galizia investigation turmoil
Last week, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri resigned and was hauled in for questioning by the police. He was later released without charges. A few hours later, former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi resigned while his colleague Chris Cardona “suspended himself” following fallout from the murder investigation. Neither of the two has been charged.
On Saturday evening, businessman Yorgen Fenech was charged with complicity in the murder of the journalist. He pleaded not guilty and remains in police custody.
Mr Fenech unsuccessfully sought to obtain a presidential pardon, with two separate requests turned down by the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers respectively. He also alleges that Mr Schembri was the real murder mastermind behind the murder.
In 2017, following the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, MEPs came over to Malta on similar fact-finding missions. At the time, the missions were about the state of the country's rule of law.
Debates were also held at the EP to discuss the issues in Malta. A similar debate is expected to be held in December.
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