President George Vella and his wife Miriam have paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia, placing a wreath at the site of her assassination in Bidnija.
“This took place following contact that took place between the Office of the President and the Caruana Galizia family since 3rd September, which resulted in an agreement,” the President’s Office said in a statement.
“President Vella placed a wreath of flowers as a gesture of sadness and condemnation to this obscene act that ended Mrs Caruana Galizia’s life on 16th October 2017. The public inquiry recommended that the State reconciles with the assassinated journalist’s family, therefore kickstarting a healing process of the serious and traumatic wounds that the country has suffered and is still suffering.”
In a statement, the late journalist’s family welcomed the President’s gesture as the Maltese state’s recognition of Caruana Galizia’s memory and sacrifice and its acknowledgement that it must bear responsibility for her assassination and for its failure to prevent real and immediate risks to her life.
This follows the recent conclusion of a public inquiry, which found the state culpable of creating an atmosphere of impunity, generated at the heart of Castille, which led to the collapse of the rule of law and the assassination of Caruana Galizia.
“We share the President’s hope that the implementation of the public inquiry’s recommendations will begin to heal the national trauma of Daphne’s murder, and we hope that this will lead to the restoration of the rule of law in Malta, effective protection for journalists, and an end to impunity,” the Caruana Galizia family said.
Vella’s gesture is notable as it is the first time a President of the Republic has visited the site where the journalist was killed in 2017. Prime Minister Robert Abela has yet to visit the site, while Opposition leader Bernard Grech visited it shortly after his appointment.
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