A consortium of over 60 lawyers including former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi as well as several Maltese shadow ministers and prominent politicians have petitioned a Maltese court to prevent the removal of the makeshift memorial dedicated to slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia at the Great Siege Monument in Valletta, ManuelDelia.com reported.
“I asked the judge for something else which I was very much hoping for: to order the government not to remove the protest memorial until the case is properly heard and a decision can be taken on its merits,” Manuel Delia said in the article. “After 11 months of having to place back the memorial every time it was wiped out, I asked, on behalf of my activist friends, for the protection of the court.”
The request was given to Judge Noel Cuschieri, who refused the request and scheduled a hearing on this for the 5th of October. The courts were forced to open outside of normal hours to process the request, and the request was made in Manuel Delia’s name.
“For the first time ever, we have a formal admission that the destruction of the protest memorial has been and is the action of the government”
The request came after a member of the Department of Public Cleansing was filmed removing photos of Caruana Galizia as well as banners, flowers, and candles from the monument outside the Valletta law courts, leading to outrage and criticism online.
The makeshift memorial has become a focal point for many segments of society, with activists resurrecting the memorial every time the government attempts to remove the pictures dedicated to Caruana Galizia. Normal citizens have also been filmed attacking the memorial on multiple occasions.
While some people have said that the Great Siege Monument should not be turned into a memorial unofficially dedicated to one person, others have said that the memorial appeared spontaneously, and deserves to be placed in a position of prominence.
The group of Maltese lawyers hoped the request to legally protect the makeshift memorial would prevent the government from removing her images from the memorial for any purposes.
The following lawyers signed the request
Jason Azzopardi, Karol Aquilina, Eve Borg Costanzi, Therese Comodini Cachia, Michael Agius, Samuel Azzopardi, Reuben Balzan, Kris Borg, Andrew Borg Cardona, Paul Borg Olivier, Thomas Bugeja, Kris Busietta, Simon Busuttil, Daniel Buttigieg, Noel Buttigieg Scicluna, Alexandra Camilleri, Peter Caruana Galizia, Anthony Cutajar, Edward Debono, Trevor Degiorgio, Mario Demarco, Alistair Facciol, Martina Farrugia, Beppe Fenech Adami, Raphael Fenech Adami, Ann Fenech, Mark Fenech, Michela Fenech, Peter Fenech, Bernard Galea, Vince Galea, Simon Galea Testaferrata, Austin Gatt, Gege Gatt, Antonio Ghio, Joe Giglio, David Gonzi, Lawrence Gonzi, Paul Gonzi, Karl Grech, Kenneth Grima, Peter Grima, David Griscti, Philip Manduca, Stefan Meilak, Angelo Micallef, Paula Mifsud Bonnici, Roberto Montalto, Karl Micallef, Malcolm Mifsud, Antoine Naudi, Georg Sapiano, Alex Perici Calscione, Anika Psaila Savona, Katia Psaila Savona, Chris Said, Nicolette Spiteri Bailey, Roberta Tedesco Metsola, Robert Thake, Stephen Thake, Louise Pulis, Aldo Vella, Francis Zammit Dimech, Joe Zammit Maempel, Michael Zammit Maempel.