The Malta Independent 15 August 2018, Wednesday

Updated: Caruana Galizia family demands full public inquiry into murder

Thursday, 9 August 2018, 11:26 Last update: about 5 days ago

The family of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is calling for a full public inquiry into her death.  And should the call for a public inquiry be refused by the Maltese government, the family says it is prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Caruana Galizia’s family will later today present a 24-page legal opinion to the Maltese High Commission in London calling for a full public inquiry into her death last October.

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The opinion gives the Prime Minister until 31 August to reply to the request positively, short of which the family would commence legal proceedings in Malta and, ultimately if need be, at the European Court of Human Rights.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Daphne’s son Paul Caruana Galizia said, “I would like to think we all have this shared interest in opening up the problem and asking this really crucial question.

“I hope that now the government will say, we see this request, we recognise it’s important and yes we will have an interest in uncovering what really happened and in asking this crucial question, could my mother’s life have been saved.”

He said that an inquiry was the only way to establish why his mother was murdered and whether anything could have been done to prevent her death.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We have over the past nine months been trying to establish some sort of inquiry, that doesn’t just establish how our mother was killed and why in a very limited criminal culpability kind of way, but to have some sort of inquiry that establishes whether something, anything, could have been done to save our mother's life, that can take evidence in a very public way and be open to public scrutiny.

“It’s really important in a deep personal way, because you feel like up until you can stop asking, ‘Could we have done anything differently?’, ‘Could the state have done anything differently?’, then you feel like you can’t grieve. Until you have this open and public inquiry, the fact is there are a lot of journalists in Malta who are reporting now on a lot of the stories my mother was working on and I know that they feel vulnerable and they feel exposed.”

The Maltese government told the BBC in a statement that it would consider request properly and act accordingly.

In comments to The Malta Independent, a government spokesman said that the lawyers of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family delivered a letter to the High Commission in London "relating to a query about the European Convention on Human Rights. 

"The letter stated that an Opinion prepared by counsel will be delivered separately today. This Opinion will set out the detail of the concern.

"The Government of Malta takes such issues seriously. We will take time to consider the Opinion properly and act accordingly."

Paul Caruana Galizia told BBC chief international correspondent Lyce Doucet in the interview that, “The Prime Minister of Malta has previously made a public promise that he would leave no stone unturned in relation to the investigation of my mother’s murder. Yet so far he has refused to establish a Public Inquiry to investigate whether her assassination could have been prevented, despite his legal obligation to do so. It is hoped that the Prime Minister will respond to today’s request by setting up a Public Inquiry without further delay so that further evidence is not lost. He has nothing to fear but the truth.”

The legal opinion was prepared by Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Jonathan Price of Doughty St Chambers, together with Tony Murphy of Bhatt Murphy.

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