The Malta Independent 24 February 2020, Monday

Public inquiry: We cannot risk doubts after the investigation is concluded - Delia

Rebekah Cilia Saturday, 21 September 2019, 12:40 Last update: about 5 months ago

Following the government announcement that a public independent inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia will take place, Opposition leader Adrian Delia said that there should be no doubts after the investigation is concluded.

Speaking during an interview on Net FM, Delia urged the Prime Minister to meet Daphne Caruana Galizia's family to discuss their concerns about the board of inquiry appointed, as was requested by them.

Delia also said that he has called for a parliamentary group meeting to discuss the matter "as there is a need to provide comfort that if this investigation is going to happen, Malta needs to know the truth."

When a person is killed it is shocking, he said, but when it is a journalist who is killed the voice of free expression in the country is also killed. In all democratic countries where a journalist was killed, even happening during the same time as Caruana Galizia's murder, people resigned, he noted.

They did not resign because they were the ones who ordered the killing, he added, but because it happened under their watch. "In our country, no one took responsibly."

Delia said the Opposition asked with necessary urgency for the mastermind behind the assassination to be found but they also asked if the government did everything it could to stop the assassination - the reason for a public inquiry.

The Opposition did not ask for two criminal investigations but for a public inquiry, Delia explained. After two years, because the Prime Minister's back was against the wall and also because of the imposed deadline by the Council of Europe, he did what he should have done a long time ago, Delia said. "Nothing was stopping it from happening."

Explaining the meaning of a golden handshake, Delia said that someone changed the regulations to give himself €150,000 as a golden handshake, only to return to the same job weeks later. "This is theft from the Maltese people," he added.

He also referred to the case between the chief executive of the MFSA and the chief operating officer noting that in this case the money from the golden handshake was directed for something else, as decided by parliament.

"This is against the law. It is disrespect towards parliament" Delia said, adding that even government appointed, MFSA director Joe Brincat noted it was a criminal offence. About this, the PN is asking for an investigation and has written to the Public Accounts Committee.

Speaking about the environment, Delia said that over the years people have been confronted by challenges, which have resulted in opportunities. He noted that the government has the obligation to educate society about its decisions and to lead by example.

He urged the government to have an environmental conscience and reiterated his call for a declaration of national climate emergency. Delia said that an emergency should have been declared a long time ago and action needs to be taken.

He commented that the economy is growing but "we do not even know where to throw away our waste." The environment needs to be central to our development, Delia said, adding that waste can be used as a source of energy, as has already been done in other countries.

"In our country, there is an attack on trees. This is crazy!" Delia exclaimed. He said that we need to increase the number of trees as they are our lungs.

Delia said it is surreal that a new school was being opened each year, under the previous administration, and now they are adding more containers. He also commented that we are a country that cannot teach its own.

Noting that children are the future, he said that there are 82 vacancies for teachers but the Minister cannot engage more people in the teaching profession. He put this down to no respect for teachers and bad wages.

"What is the country investing in if not our children, who are the future," Delia asked. The PN want to give the best education to our children, he added, saying that this does not mean just by providing a physical location but also those who are teaching them. "This will mean not only have better-educated people but better-formed people."

In a country without natural resources, business and people are the ones who create the resources, Delia said. He noted that what is being created is not allowing the economy to be churned back into Malta and is not reaching everyone.

He added that he does not mean dishing out payouts, like the cheque rebates given, which he noted was from money society has already contributed to. Delia said that vulnerable people need to be identified and given the tools to better their lives.

Delia accused the government of having lost its social compass, with 70,000 people living on the brink of poverty. He noted that 1 in 4 pensioners are also living on the poverty line but they cannot be forced to work.

"We have the obligation towards them, to allow them the ability to live a decent life," he said. We have departed from a society that cares, Delia noted, saying that the PN want a society that cares, where the ones doing well, keep on doing well but with an obligation towards those who are vulnerable.

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