The public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder and the evidence and information that emerged from it had started to allay fears among many that full justice will never be done.
Vince Muscat’s decision to admit his involvement and say all he knows about the 2017 car bomb and the 2015 murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop raised hopes even higher. The police raid on the alleged bomb makers within hours injected hope that justice is inching closer. Until the politically immature Robert Abela once again jumped the gun.
In his enthusiasm to evidently try to impress international bodies, including Moneyval, that the situation in Malta is back to normal, he again provoked the wrath of many.
Inconsistencies and apparent contradictions between statements he made and what the police commissioner told the press only served to further stoke the fire.
Abela must stop repeating the mantra that the rule of law prevails and that the institutions are working.
The rule of law will prevail and the institutions will truly work when money laundering and embezzlement charges for gross misuse of public funds are issued against people who occupied, and perhaps still occupy, high office in government. Not to mention the action that should be taken against those who tried and are still trying to pervert the course of justice and leaking information to cover up their own wrongdoing.
The police commissioner declared that, going by the evidence in the possession of the police, every person involved in Caruana Galizia’s murder, whether mastermind, accomplice or perpetrator, had either been arrested or arraigned. We wait to see whether further evidence will emerge to show if high-profile individuals were responsible for the cover-up of the murder, at least.
The rule of law will prevail when the people are told why Vince Muscat’s first request for a presidential pardon had been rejected and the second accepted.
The rule of law will reign supreme when institutions, supposed to be independent and autonomous of the executive, protect their status scrupulously. Abela said he was informed of the outcome of investigations by the police commissioner who, however, insisted: “I do not communicate to the prime minister any information about ongoing investigations”.
Good governance and rule of law prevail when the government is fully accountable and transparent, and is forthcoming when journalists ask whether Muscat told the police about a serving or former politician having been involved in a serious crime. Both the prime minister and the police commissioner denied this, only for Times of Malta to report within hours that the confessed killer had, in fact, mentioned the name of a former minister in connection with earlier plans, subsequently dropped, to kill Caruana Galizia.
The rule of law will prevail and institutions will work when, to quote the prime minister, justice is truly blind. Sadly, the institutions have been blind to serious wrongdoing over the past years and, apparently, continue to be in some instances.
Abela’s recent statements were no more than a desperate attempt to score points. He even called a press conference during prime time and tried to attribute these latest developments to the “unprecedented reform” he had set in motion.
The prime minister has only himself to blame for incurring the wrath of the people. Had the institutions really been working, that might not have happened.
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