Photo: Occupy Justice
A committee of MEPs has said it is concerned by reports that Maltese investigators have not yet requested data stored on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s laptops and hard disks from the German police.
“We note with concern that the Maltese authorities never issued an official legal assistance request to the German Federal Criminal Police Office (“Bundeskriminalamt”) to be given access to the data stored on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s laptops and hard disks after they were handed over to the German authorities by her family,” the LIBE committee said in a draft resolution that will be presented today.
The MEPs urged the government ‘to find a solution’ to the Valletta makeshiftmemorial
The assassinated journalist’s family handed the two laptops and three hard drives to the German federal criminal police, the Bundeskriminalamt, last May after declaring their lack of trust in the Maltese police force with such sensitive information.
Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said shortly afterwards that the Maltese police would communicate with the BKA to obtain access to this data in the hope it would help them get to the bottom of the journalist’s murder.
However, the BKA confirmed in September that it had not yet received a request from their Maltese counterparts for data stores on these laptops and hard drives as part of their investigation into who was behind the journalist’s murder in 2017.
A delegation of MEPS from the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee sent a delegation of MEPs to investigate the state of the rule of law in Malta and Slovakia in the wake of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak.
The MEPs had harsh words for the IIP sale-of-citizenship scheme
In its draft conclusions, the committee urged the Maltese government to set up an independent public inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s murder to establish whether it could have been avoided and whether measures can be put in place to ensure other journalists don’t suffer the same fate.
It also called on the Maltese government to take strong action against public officials “fuelling hate” against the memory of Caruana Galizia and to find a solution to the prolonged situation regarding the late journalist’s makeshift memorial in Valletta.
Beyond the murder, the MEPs also called on the government to publish the full unredacted report of the Egrant magisterial inquiry and to launch an investigation into the Panama Papers and the links between the Dubai company 17 Black and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
It also had extremely harsh words for Malta’s IIP sale of citizenship scheme, demanding that it be scrapped immediately and that the government commission an independent international investigation “into the impact of this sale on the Maltese anti-money laundering enforcement capabilities, on further cross-border crime and on the effects on the integrity of the Schengen Area”.
PN MEP Roberta Metsola sits on the LIBE committee
Reacting to the motion, Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola, who sits on the LIBE committee, said these recommendations are nothing short of obvious.
“It should be obvious that the law should be implemented whoever the perpetrator is,” she said. “It should be obvious that our institutions and the people running them should be able to do their duty. It should be obvious that being a Government Minister does not allow you to act with impunity.”
“How did we get to a point where these issues are even controversial? Why does this Government continue to attempt to defend the indefensible?”
“We are a country whose integrity has defined us throughout history – not our size. We stand up for what we believe in and we stand tall.
Maltese values are European values. So as a representative of the people of my islands, I cannot and will not be silent when they are under threat.”