Malta, government committed to more justice reforms
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela reiterated that his Government would continue with reforms to strengthen further the field of justice.
While meeting with the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, the Prime Minister claimed that in the field of justice, it was important that that things were done and seen to be done. He explained how Malta went through a rough patch in the last few years where good governance was concerned, adding that the Maltese government had “learnt a lot”. He referred in particular to Maltàs greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force.
He referred to the consultation process with the European Commission regarding the implementation of a number of reforms in strengthening the rule of law, justice and good governance in Malta.
During a meeting in Valletta, the Maltese Prime Minister mentioned the reforms the Government was pushing including the change in criminal inquiries known as the compilation of evidence, which aims to increase efficiency in the judicial process, the amendments to the Criminal Code to protect the health and life of the mother in case she is in grave danger as a result of medical complications during pregnancy, other legal amendments to strengthening the fight against crime where, in the event of very serious crimes, the Police will have the right to request the Magistratès permission to extend the arrest for more than 48 hours and other amendments that further clarify punishment in cases where there are aggravating circumstances.
While listing reforms that have already come into effect including the new method of appointing the President of Malta, the Chief Justice and the Police Commissioner, the Prime Minister also mentioned the creation of a separate prosecution unit and strengthening the functions of two institutions – the Office of the Ombudsman and the Permanent Anti-Corruption Commission.
The Maltese Prime Minister spoke about the draft laws that will give the highest level of protection to journalists and how the committee of media experts is carrying out a public consultation process after the Government accepted the request of the chairperson of the same committee to extend the consultation.
Meanwhile, while meeting the Foriegn Affairs and EU Parliamentary Committee, the EU’s justice commissioner said he was surprised that Malta has frozen only low amounts of Russian-owned assets following the enforcement of sanctions. Reyenders noted that Malta had only frozen some 220,000 Russian-owned assets as part of the efforts to hold the Russian state accountable for the invasion of Ukraine. The commissioner said he would be discussing further this issue with the Maltese government to understand why the figure was so low.