The judiciary has reportedly turned down a call from a lawyer to go on strike until the police commissioner and Attorney General are sacked.
TVM reported judges and magistrates turned up to court as usual this morning, ignoring a letter from lawyer Kenneth Grima – from top law firm Fenech & Fenech – to take a stand in the wake of last week’s brutal assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
The letter was published last night on the blog of Manuel Delia – a former top aide to PN minister Austin Gatt, who has been writing with more intensity since Caruana Galizia’s assassination.
“It was good that the judges, magistrates, fellow lawyers and who knows how many thousands of fellow citizens gave Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family their condolences and expressed their utter horror at her killing,” the letter read. “Not so however did we do so collectively in one body and as the defenders of Daphne’s right according not only to our constitution but to our collective sense of decency.”
The letter was signed by lawyer Kenneth Grima
“We did not stand up to be counted. We did not deign to be seen standing up to be counted; and we still don’t, as yet. I say this because during yesterday’s Valletta protest to which with so many thousands of fellow citizens I attended where I saw ne’er one single member of the judiciary, very few if any fellow colleagues who sit on the Government benches and perhaps only a small fraction of the country’s thousands of lawyers when all these had declared under oath and a squercia gola during their graduation and when obtaining their warrant and when those amongst us were appointed to the bench, that they would defend the constitution and their clients and fellow citizens in defence of their rights under the law.”
“We believe that the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General have both failed and failed terribly in standing up to be counted and to do their duty and protect the state, its citizens, democracy and the rule of law. By acting like them – ie. folding our hands and doing nothing – we are so obviously guilty of the finger pointed at us by Matthew Caruana Galizia, that we too are accomplices in his mother’s elimination.”
In the eye of the storm: Police commissioner Laurence Cutajar (left) and Attorney General Peter Grech
Grima said the instant resignations of police commissioner Laurence Cutajar and Attorney General Peter Grech will go some way to solving Malta’s current political crisis. However, they rejected calls from the Opposition for the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
“The Prime Minister was elected only a few months ago by a substantial percentage of the populace in accordance with the rules of democracy and the rule of law,” they wrote. “To continue to call for his resignation will only serve to bring further friction, animosity and – dare we say – hatred between fellow citizens on different sides of the divide, something this that we should all seek to avoid with immediate effect.”