The Prime Minister has justified his decision to stay out of this afternoon's “justice demonstration” in Valletta saying he deduced from comments made by some of the organisers that he would not be welcome.
"I believe that the message conveyed to me is that I would be out of place there. I will not be attending so as not be perceived as provoking both her family and the organisers," Joseph Muscat said.
The Prime Minister was speaking during an interview on One Radio, in which he spoke at length on the latest developments on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s car bomb attack.
A demonstration is being organised this afternoon in Valletta by the Civil Society Network to denounce her killing and pile pressure on the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice. The organisers have stressed that this should not be turned into a partisan event.
Though the Prime Minister will not be attending, the Labour Party will still be present through a delegation led by deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne.
"I asked the Labour Party to attend to send a clear message of national unity. Joseph Muscat is not the party but just part of it. We are a movement well beyond its leader," he said.
On the other hand, Opposition leader Dr Delia will be present, as well as his predecessor Simon Busuttil.
In his comments, the Prime Minister reiterated his call for Dr Delia to ask for an inquiry into claims of money laundering and profits from a London-based prostitution racket, which had been made by Ms Caruana Galizia last summer.
Dr Muscat said that the moment that the Opposition leader dropped several libel cases which he had instituted on these claims following the journalist’s death, meant that truth would never come out.
“He has no other option, and if he does not do it might do it for him,” the Prime Minister remarked.
“I did it myself on the Egrant allegations… though I cannot tell when this investigation will be completed... but I eagerly wait for its conclusions,” he added.
“I would have wanted Ms Caruana Galizia to be alive to verify who had given her this false information. Yet, if it is established that there is some truth in her claims I would leave on the spot,” the Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, Dr Muscat was tight-lipped when asked if there had been any inroads in the investigations, saying there was a fine balance between divulging information and safeguarding the investigation. Priority should be given to solve the case.
However, he welcomed the call made by European Parliament President Antonio Tajani to have an international investigation.
“We support this idea completely and are working on it.”
He noted that Mr Tajani expressed trust in Maltese institutions contrary to former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil whose speech in parliament showed he was not able to rise to the occasion.
“His mind is only intent on how to pay back Joseph Muscat… this is the moment which distinguishes men from boys. Unity does not mean not criticising, as long as the country’s interests are placed first.”
Commenting on the impact which this attack had on Malta’s reputation, the Prime Minister said the country still had a bright future ahead.
“People need leadership to understand this moment and not to quash the sentiment. Once we go through this process we can continue to move forward. What we achieved will be strengthen not lost,” he said.