The Malta Independent 17 December 2018, Monday

MEP Ana Gomes says investigations into journalist’s murder must include politicians

Helena Grech Tuesday, 17 April 2018, 12:11 Last update: about 9 months ago

Socialist MEP Ana Gomes has asked the Malta police to preserve and use a recorded interview the late journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had with the Council of Europe as a lead in their investigations, adding that the contents of the interview mean the police should investigate politicians too.

Gomes, who was a vocal critic of the government following the Panama Papers revelations and later on the Egrant allegations, uploaded a video to YouTube where she described how Caruana Galizia had been interviewed by the Council of Europe just ten days before she was murdered.

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She was murdered on 16 October of last year in a car bomb just metres away from her Bidnija residence. The interview with the Council of Europe, Gomez said, took place on 6 October where the slain journalist is said to have described threats she had received.

“I am aware that there is an interview with the Council of Europe, recorded by Ms Daphne Caruana Galizia on 6 October 2017. This was only ten days before she was killed. In this interview she details the threats she had been receiving and experiencing, the intimidation she faced from members of government, parliament, the police and political party donors,” Gomes said.

She began the video by appealing to Lawrence Cutajar, the Police Commissioner to widen the investigation and use the recorded interview as a lead to follow-up on.

“Why are the Malta police and authorities not considering this interview as a lead in the investigations? I request, Mr Commissioner, that the recording of this interview be preserved and be followed as a lead in the police investigations. We in the European Parliament are continuing our own inquiry into the murder of Caruana Galizia in other related aspects relevant for our assessment of the rule of law in Malta.

“This is an appeal to Lawrence Cutajar, the police commissioner heading the Malta police force. Nearly six months have passed now since the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. We know that the Malta police [force] have arrested three suspects in relation to this assassination but everybody knows that the police investigation needs to be widened to include suspected individuals who could have commissioned the assassination. This is why it must also include looking to well-known political figures with a motivation for silencing Daphne.

“As vice-president Frans Timmermans said in the EP, the assassination of journalists with a view to intimidate investigative journalists goes directly into the heart of the rule of law in the EU.

“We saw it also when a Slovak journalist and his girlfriend were murdered.

“We are continuing our work and of course that work has a vocal central question for the need for justice for those who have assassinated Caruana Galizia.”

On Monday night, eight cities around the world held vigils for the six month anniversary of the brutal assassination.

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