The Malta Independent 11 December 2017, Monday

Daphne’s murder: S&D MEP Ana Gomes highlights lack of faith in Maltese authorities

Kevin Schembri Orland Tuesday, 31 October 2017, 09:18 Last update: about 2 months ago

S&D MEP Ana Gomes has highlighted the lack of faith in the Maltese authorities, insisting on the need to involve Europol in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder investigation.

Ana Gomes has been commenting on the local scene since her involvement in the EU Parliament Pana committee, that was looking into the Panama Papers. She had even come to Malta when they interviewed a number of prominent persons, including Daphne Caruana Galizia herself. Gomes forms part of the EU Parliament S&D party, the same European party PL MEPs form part of.

ADVERTISEMENT

The MEP passed on her condolences to the Caruana Galizia family, “I was appalled and was really sorry to hear about her murder. Last week in the European Parliament, I was able to express my shock at the crime to her husband and children.”

She referred to Caruana Galizia as a whistleblower for her work on the Panama Papers. “She kept doing what she believed was right very courageously, and I think her example is inspiring to all in the EU who want to fight and expose corruption, and to understand the links of money laundering that countries like Malta, but not only Malta, in the EU that lend themselves to facilitate money laundering and tax evasion fall prey to organised crime.”

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has previously suggested the possibility of involving Europol in the case, and on 24 October, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said Europol should take part in the inquiry. Reports on 26 October then read that three Europol analysts had arrived in Malta to help the police in their investigation.

Ana Gomes told The Malta Independent that it is “absolutely crucial that the investigation in Malta will require the involvement of Europol. As in other cases, the Maltese government could and should ask for the involvement of Europol in the investigation. The truth is that nobody can have much faith in the local authorities. As we could see in the Panama Papers investigation, it was clear that the police and financial authorities were muzzled, and therefore since there cannot be confidence in the local authorities - the police and the judiciary - because of the way they have been subdued by the political powers, it is essential for the credibility of the investigation that there be international assistance.”

She said that she does not mean to say that there aren’t honest and competent people in the Judiciary and in the police, “but publicly they need to be strengthened and supported by an investigation including Europol, as we know there is too much political interference in the nominations of the police and the judiciary, so to support all the honest and competent people, it is important for Europol to work together with the Maltese authorities.”

Asked for her opinion, given her familiarity with Malta through her Panama Papers investigation, on whether she believed the proposal for future police commissioners and Attorney Generals to require a 2/3rds Parliamentary majority, she said that such a move could strengthen the authority of the institutions. “One of the problems we had when we were in Malta was the doubts about the independence of the authorities because of their links with the political power, whoever was in government. So in order to ensure that there is independence it would be better to ensure that there be a wider support basis for the top nominations. It is important that not only that the top nominations get wider support in the political spectrum, but also to instil the sense of their independence in all the professions.

She also said that involving Europol in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination investigation, despite the horrendous reasons being the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, can also help instil a sense of independence in the police and the judiciary. “I will expect this as the very minimum from the current government. I don’t care if the FBI are involved or not, I believe that Europol is the proper authority to be involved that should be supporting that investigation.”

  • don't miss