The families migrants who died at sea, as well as Civil society group Repubblika, have called on Malta’s attorney general to send a controversial 420-page migrant homicide report back to the investigating magistrate due to the sheer number of shortcomings within it.
The report by Magistrate Joe Mifsud – which even included a random poem about a disabled daughter – has been heavily criticised due to the way it approached allegations of Maltese soldiers’ actions.
These actions allegedly led to the deaths of at least 12 migrants at sea and others being returned to war-torn Libya, which Repubblika refer to as the “Easter Massacre”.
“We are asking this because the inquiry’s report is full of shortcomings including the important testimony that the magistrate gathered but ignored totally,” they said.
Similarly, while referring to the length of the report, the families of two migrants that died said “the scope of such extensive volume was nothing more than to give a false impression of a thorough investigation”.
Repubblika said Mifsud left the important testimony of 66 people out of the report due to it being evidence that “confirms whether Robert Abela or his officials gave orders for an illegal pushback in contravention of international law”.
“We are requesting that the testimony that 66 people who were aboard a ship that was brought into Malta that week of April be included and published. And that the testimony of Neville Gafà and the head of the prime minister’s secretary Clyde Caruana are also included,” Repubblika continued.
They also called out the report for not hearing the testimony of the 51 migrants who watched the 12 men drown in front of them. “The circumstances and time of these 12 deaths are crucial to discover the truth about what happened.”
“Without truth there can be no justice.”
Repubblika also called on the names of the victims to be included in the actual report.
“The fact that the inquiry doesn’t even name Omar, Mogos, Hzqiel, Hdru, Huruy, Teklay, Nohom, Kidus, Debesay, and the three men named Filmon indicated that the inquiry isn’t interested in doing them justice,” they said.
Cover photo left: TVM