The European Parliament will send a special delegation to Malta in the coming weeks to investigate corruption, money laundering and the extent to which the rule of law is applied in the island.
Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who chairs the ALDE political group, said the European Parliament decided to investigate the situation in Malta following a meeting with the sons of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Strasbourg.
“Their account of the situation in Malta was shocking,” he said. “Corruption appears to be a profitable business model. We have decided to send a delegation to Malta to investigate the extent to which the rule of law is applied, what steps are taken against corruption and how money laundering is tackled.”
— Guy Verhofstadt (@GuyVerhofstadt) October 26, 2017
Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola welcomed the investigation, tweeting: “We will not rest until theres is justice, accountability and change in Malta. It cannot be business as usual.”
European Parliament sources told Lovin Malta that although the investigation was spurred by Caruana Galizia’s assassination, its scope will be far wider than the killing itself.
— Roberta Metsola MEP (@RobertaMetsola) October 26, 2017
“What triggered MEPs to act was the Prime Minister’s speech at an EY conference yesterday, in which he said the assassination was a horrific assassination,” the source said. “The truth is this has been piling up for some time now though – from the sale of passports to the police refusing to investigate the Panama Papers and sitting on two damning FIAU reports to Malta’s finance minister claiming the reports were written to be leaked.”
After the investigation, MEPs from all political groups will draft a cross-party resolution on the state of the rule of law in Malta which they will send to the European Commission.
A debate in the European Parliament on the rule of law in Malta has also been scheduled for the 14th of November. The debate’s details have yet to be laid out, but sources told this website it is likely the EP will invite Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to answer questions posed by MEPs.