The Maltese State must shoulder responsibility for the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, a public inquiry has reportedly found.
“The State created an atmosphere of impunity, generated by the highest levels at the heart of the administration in Castille. The impunity spread like an octopus to regulatory institutions and the Police. This led to the collapse of the rule of law,”the inquiry reads, according to blogposts by Manuel Delia.
“Therefore, the State and the entities that formed it did not recognise, as they should have done, the real and immediate risk, including as a result of the criminal actions of third parties, to the life of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The State also failed to act within its considerable powers and in the exercise of reasonable judgment as it was expected to do to avoid that risk.”
Some key findings in the 437-page report, include the board’s conclusion that Caruana Galizia’s assassination was either intrinsically or directly linked to her journalism.
The inquiry board also found that the members of Cabinet failed to act appropriately after the reveal of the Panama Papers and 17 Black.
“Though some might absolve the Cabinet for failing to act in a timely fashion against the Chief of Staff (Keith Schembri) when the Panama Papers were published because Prime Minister Muscat assumed personal responsibility for Mr Schembri’s actions, the same cannot be said about the publication of specific allegations of crimes connected with 17 Black. It is clear that at this stage no member of Cabinet can exonerate themselves from the obligation to assert at that stage, their view that the people involved had no place in Cabinet,” it said.
It reiterated that public administration is obliged to safeguard the rule of law and business interests should never supersede good governance.
Caruana Galizia was murdered by a car bomb on 16th October 2017. It took an intense effort from Caruana Galizia’s family to get it off the ground with the Council of Europe intervening to strongarm the government to launch the inquiry, which looks into whether the state could have prevented the assassination.
The inquiry board, which is composed of retired judge Michael Mallia, former Chief Justice Joseph Said Pullicino and Judge Abigail Lofaro, was set up in December 2019. Its first sitting came just days after the arrest of Fenech.
What do you think of the report?