Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela has earned a stiff rebuke from the association of Kosovo journalists during a visit to the country this week.

Mr Abela said during the visit that both Malta and Kosovo share the same European values.

In a statement, the association of journalists said that Mr Abela could earn the right to preach about the respect of European values only once journalists in Malta were protected and the Daphne Caruana Galizia case was solved.

The association expressed its solidarity with Maltese journalists and appealed to the Maltese State and government to shed light on the assassination as soon as possible.

It noted that over 500 days had passed since her murder in October 2017.

Allow a public investigation

The journalists said the mastermind behind the car bombing was still unknown, and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat continued to reject requests by her family for a public inquiry.

“The association appeals to Minister Abela and Prime Minister Muscat to shed light on her murder, allow a public investigation as requested by the family, and ensure that Maltese journalists are adequately protected,” the statement read.

In a jibe at the Foreign Minister’s statement about European values, the association said one of the key values of the EU was the right to freedom of expression and protection of journalists.

“Every attack against journalists is an attack against public interest, democracy and the rights of all citizens,” the association said.

Three men have since been charged with planting and detonating the bomb that killed the 53-year-old journalist.

Foreign investigators have questioned the reluctance of the Maltese police to proceed against more suspects, believed to be between three and five men.

The Sunday Times of Malta reported last month the people “who were involved at the commissioning stage” of the murder have been identified but there are different opinions among Maltese investigators as to whether there is enough evidence to prosecute.

A local source said arrests would follow once all the necessary evidence was in place.