The Malta Independent 20 November 2017, Monday

Watch: PM’s speech gave impression that he was the victim in this tragedy - Delia

Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 21:57 Last update: about 2 months ago

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said, in response to the Prime Minister's speech in Parliament tonight, that it was as though the Prime Minister tried to give the impression that he (Joseph Muscat) was the victim in this tragedy.

"Democracy was the victim, Caruana Galizia was the victim, freedom of speech was the victim. These are the things that affect the country currently and the country's future," he said.

He spoke about political responsibility, adding that the people want justice, not only for the person responsible for the attack to be caught.

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He said that the Prime Minister tried to turn the debate to a political one.

Asked by this newsroom whether he will take up the Prime Minister's suggestion and approach the courts to request an inquiry into the allegations Caruana Galizia had made about him before her death, Delia said: "In a normal society we don't play for people's perception, or for political convenience. If anyone at all, including the police, have anything which is a serious allegation they are free to investigate and I will cooperate. There are courts, institutions... and this is what the fight is about, the normality of institutions. Investigations are not instigated by challenges by politicians. That is a political game. If there is a serious allegation one wants to take to a magistrate then I will cooperate, and if there is any truth in the allegations then I will suffer the consequences.

Pressed to say clearly whether he will go to the magistrates or not, he said; "There is absolutely nothing at all which in my mind should push me to do that, other than allowing myself to play political games for political convenience."

Asked whether, during his PN leadership campaign when referring to Caruana Galizia as a 'Bicca Blogger' he was attacking freedom of expression, he said no. He said that a blogger or journalist still has all the protection from the state if they feel something was libellous.

He also said that in a country where there is freedom of expression, one can criticise those who criticise you, and if one crosses the line of decency one can seek justice in the courts. He again condemned the attack on Galizia.

Delia was asked about a statement by the Prime Minister who, during his speech, said that the latest threats Caruana Galizia had spoken of had nothing to do with the government, but were linked to the people around the Leader of the Opposition. He was asked whether he has looked into the matter.

"Absolutely nobody brought this to my attention bar a journalist this afternoon... If the police know something they should take the necessary steps and investigate, rather than the Prime Minister making allegations and gossiping, he said.

He said that in his life he never did anything to hurt anyone. He said that this is an accusation, "if it is an accusation and I hopes it is not," as it is a serious one and whoever says it must carry political responsibility."

Turning to what needs to be done in order for there to be trust in the investigation, he said, that the Opposition has trust in the current magistrate, and said that it was not an exercise in forum shopping. "The Prime Minister tried to say it was the opposition who was not happy with the previous magistrate, that is not what we said, we said as there could have been a conflict of interest, not because we did not trust the person."

Turning to the foreign experts, he said that yesterday the PM mentioned in in the sense of giving comfort. "An admission we don't have, as a government, in the integrity of the police force. Today he changed it and said it was because we don't have the technical expertise. In the last two years we had six car bombings. Is it responsible for our minister of police and police commissioner not to have that expertise available when it is one of the most impending problems we have. Again, political responsibility."


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