The Malta Independent 28 June 2022, Tuesday

Former Labour deputy leader wants inquiry into Daphne public inquiry

Monday, 23 August 2021, 12:14 Last update: about 11 months ago

Former Labour Party deputy leader Joe Brincat today filed a judicial protest demanding an inquiry into the workings of the public inquiry that investigated the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In his protest, which is normally followed up by a court case, Brincat argued that in his capacity as a Maltese citizen and part of the Maltese State, which he said was indicted by the inquiry report, he was seeking an inquiry to investigate the operations of Daphne inquiry.

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The inquiry was led by Judge Emeritus Michael Mallia and had as members former Chief Justice Joseph Said Pullicino and Madame Justice Abigail Lofaro. It concluded that the State should bear responsibility for the assassination.

Brincat’s judicial protest urged the State Advocate to begin an inquiry to establish whether the board of inquiry had performed its duties correctly.

“The State is not only Cabinet, not only Castille, but also the other constitutional organs of the country, including the judiciary and ordinary citizens of the country,” Brincat said in the protest.

Brincat argued that the members of the board of inquiry had not been administered an oath of impartiality “as a sign of goodwill”, saying that this was contrary to the rule of law.

“The rule of law requires the inquiry to remain within its parameters, and in its parameters it was not given charge or authority or requested to make recommendations.” The board’s recommendations were ultra vires, Brincat argued, adding that “nobody has the right to ignore the laws of the land and do whatever he likes.”

The former minister said he “certainly could not agree with the recommendations, amongst them the apology for what happened, in the name of the Maltese State of which he forms part.”

Doing so would require the State apologising for every murder that takes place, he said.

Turning his attention to Said Pullicino, who had served as Ombudsman until 2016. Describing him as a consultant to the current Ombudsman, Brincat said that in 2019 the Ombudsman had presented to the Speaker of the House a report which had “substantially said all the things that were said in the inquiry and therefore there is incontrovertible evidence that the judge had already pronounced himself…on the merits of the same issue.”

 

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