The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

Daphne’s murder: EU Commission must act now – David Casa

Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 11:29 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Maltese Head of Delegation of the Nationalist Party’s MEPs David Casa expressed his grave concern at the events unfolding in Malta this week.

In a statement delivered during an EPP meeting in Brussels, Casa said Malta is currently in shock and mourning following the brutal assassination of its most renowned investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on Monday afternoon, who was victim of a powerful car bomb a few metres away from her home.

Casa explained that Caruana Galizia was known globally for her fight against corruption and for her courage in never shying away from revealing harsh truths. She is the journalist that reported on the Panama Papers scandal - which directly implicated the Maltese government and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in money laundering allegations involving the Azerbaijan dictatorial leadership.

It had been obvious for years that Caruana Galizia was being subjected to threats on her life, and she even made this public time and time again. However, no action whatsoever was taken to respond to these threats and no protection or assistance was ever given. 

Such an occurrence is unprecedented in Malta's history. It is the result of the breakdown of the rule of law. Over the past 5 years the state institutions have been weakened and obliterated, with valid and experienced individuals being removed and replaced with Government sympathizers and close allies of the Prime Minister. This has weakened the police force and the courts of justice to a level never seen before in Malta, Casa said.

Needless to say, this is completely unacceptable in a EU member state, Casa explained. “We must ask the EU Commission to express grave concern on the obvious collapse of rule of law in Malta and open investigations on the state of rule of law in Malta. Nothing less than this drastic action will do as following Monday’s tragic incident and the impact this has had locally, we have reached a point of no return.”

Casa concluded by pointing out that it is abundantly clear that this situation could have been avoided if the Commission had taken action when they were notified on the worrying state of the rule of law in Malta only months ago.

To use Caruana Galizia’s last words on her Running Commentary blog, “the situation is desperate”. It is a dark day for democracy when journalists are silenced by laws, but it is outright unacceptable when they are silenced by assassination, he said.

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