Malta, call for truth and justice for Caruana Galizia
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A vigil for truth and justice was organised late Saturday evening in Valletta to commemorate the fourth anniversary from the killing of Maltese invesigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
A number of international speakers addressed the crowd during the vigil, including Italian Senator and journalist Sandro Ruotolo, the Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando and Italian MEP Caterina Chinnici, daughter of the Sicilian judge Rocco Chinnici killed by the mafia in 1983.
In a recorded message from the city of Palermo, Mayor Leoluca Orlando said that four years after the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the message of truth and justice is still valid. He added Daphne was killed by an organized crime system. “We know the history. The history of Palermo. The history of the Mafia. The mafia that was the face of the institutions. You too in Malta have the right to defend the institutions against the organised crime.”
Italian Senator Sandro Ruotolo declared “Daphne was right”, adding that four years after the killing of Caruana Galizia, he did not expect to reiterate his solidarity. “I was hoping for the whole truth to be revealed and justice to be done, but four years later we are here in this square more worried than ever because the threats against press freedom have increased, we do not know the wholte truth on the assassination of Daphne and justice needs to be served.” He also referred to Maltese politicians close to the Labour Government who were mentioned in the Panama Papers and to corrupt public contracts such as that in the field of energy supply, and who have not even been investigated.
In a video message, Italian MEP Caterina Chinnici said that despite knowing the danger she was working in, Daphne Caruana Galizia still worked to expose the truth and to defend the European fundamental rights such as freedom of the press, the good administration of justice and the rule of law.
Civil society movement Repubblika President Robert Aquilina called on the police chief and the attorney general to get their act together and prosecute whoever was involved in the corruptions scandals, Daphne Caruana Galizia uncovered.
Ricardo Gutièrrez from the European Federation of Journalists told the crowd “Daphne is a symbol. Daphne is a role model for all of us. We will never forget her. She is changing this country in ways that no one would have dared to consider.”
The legal advisor of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, Flutura Kusari called on Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela and other political leaders to use their power to stop discrediting campaigns against those seeking justice for Daphne. “If anything happens to them or if the cases before the court fail, the Maltese state will be responsible.”
Rebecca Vincent from Reporters Without Borders said that although progress was registered in the investigations “wère not going anywhere until justice is fully served.
Tom Gibson from the Committee to Protect Journalists said that Daphnès murder was an attack on press freedom in Malta and against press freedom in Europe. “When they investigate and publish, they bring information to our attention. They strengthen our systems. They strengthen us. The protection of this is such as an important aspect of Daphnès legacy.” Gibson said Daphne Caruana Galiziàs memory will be preserved around Europe, and other journalists will follow in her footsteps.
Earlier in the afternoon, a silent gathering in memory of the murdered Daphne Caruana Galizia was held in Bidnija, the same place where Daphne lived and was assassinated in a car bomb. Activists carried a large banner with a message “Daphne was right” and laid flowers and candles.
Today’s commemoration has also inspired many international figures and institutions to speak up for the importance of Maltàs press freedom, rule of law, and a clear call for justice.
12 international press freedom organisations stated that “it is deeply unsettling to reiterate, four years on, our call for justice for this heinous attack as impunity continues to fester.”
Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights described Daphne Caruana Galizia as “a courageous woman and a brilliant journalist who used her skills to speak truth to power. She served the public good, believing in the power of journalism to build a more just society.” Paying tribute to the journalist, Mijatovic added “despite herself, Daphne became the symbol of all the threats against journalists when she was brutally killed four years ago.”
Additionally, the United States embassy in Malta has called for a thorough, transparent, timely, and credible conclusion to the investigations into her murder.
So far, one of three men accused of planting the car bomb pleaded guilty and was jailed for 15 years. However, brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio are still awaiting trial while Maltàs attorney general has called for a life sentence for businessman Yorgen Fenech for allegedly masterminding the murder.