The Malta Independent 4 October 2022, Tuesday
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Daphne’s murder: Rally calls for justice; resignation of police commissioner, Attorney General

Sunday, 22 October 2017, 14:59 Last update: about 6 years ago

The Civil Society Network this evening called for the removal of the police commissioner and the attorney general, and for the government to replace them with two other nominees approved by two thirds of Parliament.

The call was made by Michael Briguglio in a speech at the end of the manifestation in Valletta commemorating the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia last Monday.

He also called on President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca to help the country out of this situation. “I appeal to the President of Malta to use her authority to take our country out of this crisis,” he said. 

Videos/photos Baskal Mallia

After the activity, the Civil Society Network presented its demands officially to the President, calling for intervention.

In a short intervention, the President said that "It was an attack on all of us, every single one of us. We need to see how we are going to work together.  We need to unite to have the reform that is needed. This is a moment to show solidarity forget differences and remember that there's a family that's suffering."

Briguglio said that the country is “living an institutional crisis” and went on to mention concerns regarding criminality, liberty and the government.

Protest Valletta - Daphne murder from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.

“We want justice!” he stated, “we are living a constitutional crisis. There is fear in the country. There is a surplus of criminality. Malta is under the influence of bullies who do whatever they like.” 

“What is this liberty if you find a bomb when you talk?” “How have we let organised crime grow?” he asked. 

“With Panama Papers and the murder of Daphne, we have gone over each limit. The state did not protect Daphne, the state is not protecting us,” he said, going on to ask where the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner are in all this. “How are they still there?” he asked “what is the Prime Minister waiting for to remove them?” 

“This is the same Prime Minister who is ignoring the Chief Justice, the same one who did nothing about Panama Papers.”

People earlier gathered in their thousands in Valletta to take part in the rally that is being organised by the Civil Society Network.

Some carried placards and wore T-shorts with the last words Daphne wrote on her lost blog: “There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate”.

Others carried placards with quotes from her website.

The participants, who included political parties, unions, employers and people from all walks of life, met at City Gate and walked down Republic Street to stop in front of the law courts, symbol of the justice system. The aim of the rally was to call for justice following the brutal killing of the journalist.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Opposition Leader Adrian Delia did not attend, citing different reasons. Muscat said that he felt he was not wanted while Delia said that it was not about him, but about democracy.

At the front of the manifestation, the Civil Society Network carried a banner with the word "justice", and the participants stopped in front of the memorial set up opposite the law courts, beneath the Great Siege monument.

Prior to the rally, students from San Anton School also walked down Republic Street to place flowers at the foot of the Great Siege Monument, where an impromptu memorial for the slain journalist emerged over the past week.

A banner with the words "Mafia state", which was hung on a wall opposite Parliament, was removed by the police before the rally started.

A huge banner with a photo of the police commissioner, Lawrence Cutajar, calling for his resignation is also being carried, and was later hung outside the law courts building.

Other speakers at the manifestation included a spokesperson for Reporters Without Borders, who said: "We are mourning Daphne, the world is watching us, the world is watching you. The work of journalists in Malta is crucial to the world. All citizens who want to defend democracy and freedom feel for the Maltese journalists. We are here from Reporters Without Borders to express solidarity.

“The pen conquers fear”, he said. “Do you remember three years ago we gathered in the streets of Paris for the Je Suis Charlie kiling, we are gathered here today and can say ‘We Are Daphne’ ‘Je Suis Daphne’. The killers can silence her but they wont silence her spirit, from us they wont have more than one minute of silence. Daphne will forever belong to the family of investigative journalists that decided to never give up.

James Debono, a former journalist, said when he heard the news "I felt empty when your country loses a bit of its soul, that’s why anger comes afterwards. 

"It is good that government said they are going to do everything they can to save it from criminals. We don’t want to live in a mafia state. We don’t want to be a washing machine for the money of criminals, and money doesn’t buy everything in the world, especially not justice, we need to reflect."

Manuel Delia said: “I wish to thank Daphne Caruana Galizia. She gave her life to serve this country. She did not do this last Monday. She did this every day of her thirty-year career. She was paid for her sacrifices with derision and name-calling. And at the end she was awarded the cruel prize of an untimely death.

Speaking about Caruana Galizia’s family, Delia said “yes your example remains inspiring. In your saddest hour, when no one could have blamed you for shutting yourself in, your concern was on Daphne’s work. You are worried her work might stop. That her killers will manage to bury what they want to hide and their dirty secrets remain unknown.

Surrounded by all the egoism around them, the Caruana Galizia family shows the greatest altruism. Their thoughts are on the continuation of Daphne’s work for the good of people who are not with us today because they say Daphne brought her own death upon herself.”

“Daphne was not killed for lying. Daphne was not killed for offending someone with her words. Daphne was killed because she alone uncovered the illness that has weakened this country where greed rules and the garden of fairness has been burnt down to make way for the tower of desire for money at all costs.”

“She was driven by duty to our society that repaid her by beatings and blood, and yet she felt obliged to serve it by revealing the truth in place of the lie we were living.

“She was motivated by love of country that frustrated her with its mediocrities, the egoism, and the brittle spines of those too stuck on today’s pounds to think of the garden they should be building for children to live in tomorrow. But this was her home and she thought of this oh so ungrateful nation as her family to which she wanted to contribute with her sacrifice.”

Another speaker, Claudine Cassar called out for justice which is colourblind “does not see red or blue, that sees us all the same in front of the law.” 

“We are compliant if we keep accepting, if we ignore them, we are compliant,” she said. 

“If we let the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia as if nothing happened, we are compliant.”

San Anton School - Daphne murder from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.

“We can’t accept that the name of our country has become synonymous with money laundering and the mafia,” she said, adding that that is how big international media names have been portraying us. 

“We are in an ugly time for our country but if we join we can get the change, we can turn it into a country we are proud to give to future generations, we deserve better!”


Photos by Baskal Mallia and Newsbook

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