Inquiry, Maltese State responsible for Caruana Galiziàs assassination
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A public inquiry into the killing of investigative Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia concluded that the Maltese State must shoulder responsibility for the assassination of Caruana Galizia for creating a culture of impunity which infiltrated the country’s institutions. In a 437-page report the inquiry did not found any evidence that the Maltese State was actively involved in the murder, but concluded that a culture of impunity was created from the highest ranks of power within the former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s office. “The impunity was generated at the highest levels at the heart of administration and like an octopus spread to other entities such as regulatory institutions and the Police leading to the collapse of the Rule of Law”. The public inquiry found Muscat as “indirectly responsible” for Daphne Caruana Galiziàs death for failing to sack his Chief-of-Staff Keith Schembri and former energy minister Konrad Mizzi for the setting up of secret companies in Panama. Schembri and Mizzi were planning to do business with Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech’s secret Dubai company 17 Black. “While Muscat could justify his decision to keep them on after the Panama Paper revelations by saying it was a wrong political decision, he certainly could not do so on 17 Black which implicated both Schembri and Mizzi in serious criminal allegations”. In its conclusions, the report said the Maltese State did not recognise “the real and immediate risks, including the criminal conduct of third parties, on the life of Daphne Caruana Galizia” and failed to take the necessary action to protect the journalist. Noting that Daphne Caruana Galiziàs murder was “intrinsically, if not exclusively” linked to her investigative work on major projects involving big business, the report said the police are not excluding the involvement of other parties behind those currently charged with her murder.
Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio are charged with planning and executing the assassination while Fenech stands charged with organising and financing the assassination. The third man charged with planting the bomb, Vince Muscat, was sentenced to 15 years’ jail after reaching a plea bargain agreement. Melvin Theuma, who claims to be a middleman in the murder, secured immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony. The Maltese Parliament will convene on Friday morning in a special session to discuss the report from the public inquiry into the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia.