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It’s a concern that someone whose name pops up in so many cases is free – head of EP delegation

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It is clear that there are individuals, or group of individuals, who are engaging in very serious wrongdoing in Malta, Renew Europe’s Sophia in ‘t Veld, head of the EP delegation on a fact-finding mission in Malta said.

Speaking after meeting police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar this afternoon, she said that she would like to distinguish between those people and Malta as a country, and that includes the institutions.

Asked about the release of Keith Schembri from custody after he was interrogated in connection with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Sophia in ‘t Veld said that this was a matter of concern.

It’s a concern that someone whose name pops up in so many different cases is free, that’s very difficult to explain to people. You cannot be satisfied if someone is still out there when you have the feeling that they’re really guilty of serious crimes. But there is also due process, you have to take certain steps, you can’t go around arresting people, you have to have hard evidence and this is not easy at this stage, Sophia in ‘t Veld said.

“It is clear that the spotlight is on Malta and the rule of law. It is too early to draw conclusions because that would not be fair. We can see there are big concerns but we can see that there are people working hard to make it better.”

Asked it is legitimate for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to attend the next European Council meeting, she said it is up to his peers to decide that. There is clearly a problem with trust and credibility, not tangible but essential to working together.

Trust is not between the people and governments, but is also between governments and between the European institutions, she said. There is an issue that we need to work together when you want to fight crime in the EU. And that trust has been severely undermined.

We had a long talk with the police. We cannot say very much in detail. We can say that progress has been made in recent weeks and a lot of steps have been taken. It is clear that a lot of work went into that.

Although the police must practise the necessary discretion, that the case is not closed and that the work is ongoing. A lot of hard work has been put into the case and there is a lot of dedication but there is a need to be discreet on the investigations. “What I see give me the feeling that they are working very hard and doing a professional job”.

Original article found on The Malta Independent

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