The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

Updated: Government hits out at UK law firm’s advice to Caruana Galizia family

Saturday, 9 December 2017, 12:26 Last update: about 4 years ago

The Government of Malta has hit out at advice given by the international law firm Doughty Street Chambers on the Daphne Caruana Galizia case.

Doughty Street Chambers had advised Daphne Caruana Galizia's family that the investigation into her assassination violates procedural requirements of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

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On behalf of the law firm, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Jonathan Price had said “we are of the firm view that Malta is in flagrant violation of the Article 2 investigative duty and thus in breach of its obligations under the ECHR”, and that “from the information available at this stage it appears highly likely to us that the Maltese authorities have also violated other human rights of Ms Caruana Galizia and the bereaved family, under Articles 2, 3, 8, 10 and/ or 13 ECHR (and indeed under other international human rights treaties and domestic law).”

In response to the advice given, government today released a statement through the Department of Information, stating: "the government of Malta is very surprised that a firm of British solicitors, basing themselves solely on the information afforded to them by their clients, provided for publication of what is being called 'urgent advice' on the merits of a Maltese court case which is to be heard for the first time next week."

"This attempt to write a completely one sided judgment in the court case before this is even heard is highly unethical and manifest a lack of respect for the Maltese Courts. The undertone of the so-called 'Urgent Advice' is that the state was itself involved in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and on this basis it is argued that practically no Maltese authority should be involved in the investigation," government said.

"Such a serious allegation is not based on any proof but only on the open contempt which the clients hold towards the Maltese State. They are very irresponsible allegations intended to undermine the credibility and authority of all Maltese institutions nationally and internationally, and cannot be made or taken lightly."

"The call for an international investigation despite the involvement in the investigation of the FBI, Europol and the Dutch forensic and Finnish investigative authorities, can now really be understood as a call for the elimination of all Maltese institutions from the investigation in favour of foreigners. Not only is such a step inconceivable in a sovereign and democratic country but it is also in itself a huge insult to the Maltese Courts, including the institution conducting the Magisterial Inquiry into the murder which was said to enjoy the confidence of all stakeholders."

"It is clear that the so-called 'Urgent Advice' is nothing but more of the same one sided, uninformed and speculative attacks on a democratically elected Government and on the Maltese State for reasons known to whoever commissioned it."

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