The government is afraid that the truth will come out in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, PN MP Karol Aquilina said this evening.
Parliament is holding an extraordinary session to debate a motion, moved by the PN, that calls for a public inquiry into the assassination and the resignation of the Attorney General and Police Commissioner. The motion was presented as a private members’ motion by Opposition leader Adrian Delia and MPs Karol Aquilina and Robert Cutajar.
Aquilina said that in a country where the institutions work well the Opposition should not have to move such a motion. He referred to the legal advice given by the British law firm representing the Caruana Galizia family, saying that he could not understand why the government was refusing calls for a public inquiry. The Opposition then felt that it should take this request as its own.
The motion calls on Parliament to condemn the murder. But words are not enough. Half of this chamber wants action to be taken, the other half does not.
The motion also calls for the resignations of the AG and police chief for well-known reasons.
More importantly, it calls on Parliament to order the PM to appoint a public inquiry.
Aquilina said inquiries had been appointed for far less serious crimes, but the PM does not want a public inquiry to look into the murder of a journalist. European states have a duty to investigate crimes but also the shortcomings by the state that allowed that crime to happen. This was the most obscene murder to take place in Malta in the last 30 years, the MP said.
We need to know whether the measures taken were adequate or not, Aquilina continued. We had a situation where known criminals were roaming around, supposedly under surveillance by the authorities, and yet they managed to murder a journalist.
The public inquiry board should be made up of people of integrity, he said. The PM can choose the chairperson but the board should be approved by a two-thirds majority. The outcome of the inquiry should be made public. “It is clear that the government side if afraid of the truth,” Aquilina said.
Government Whip Byron Camilleri said the rule of law in Malta works and we should have faith in the police, both Maltese and foreign. He said there are already investigations underway – a criminal investigation and a magisterial inquiry.
The inquiry should take place, he said, and this was not a question of if but of when. “The government and the Opposition have a very different way of seeing things. The Opposition wants politicians to interfere in investigations. We want the institutions to work independently. Why the insistence by the Opposition to have politicians involved? This is a clear case of the Opposition putting the cart before the horse.”
Camilleri said the Opposition never believed in the police force. Just one day before the arrest of the three suspects in the murder, Adrian Delia had claimed that the police were nowhere near close to solving the case.
At the start of the sitting, Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana said she would absent herself from the debate since she was mentioned by name in the PN motion. (the motion makes reference to the removal from the case of Deputy Commissioner Silvio Valletta, the minister’s husband).
Caruana said she would go home to comfort her children because of the unnecessary attention that the Opposition had brought on the family. The family, she said, had been living under police protection for the past year. “Both my husband and I work for the benefit of the country in different roles. My husband always carried out his duties to the best of his abilities and led to a result (of the investigation) on a scale never before seen in this country. We did nothing that can shame us or impinge on our integrity.”
Original article found on The Malta Independent