Daphne Caruana Galizia murder: Malta to launch public inquiry

Memorial to Daphne Caruana Galizia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Maltese government has announced that it will launch an independent public inquiry into the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The development comes after Malta as criticized by Europe’s chief human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, which stated that the failure to find the assailants in Galizia case raised questions about rule of law in the island country.

While the statement was made in June, there was also mounting international pressure on Malta to take a step in the murder case.

The Council of Europe had asked Malta to start the inquiry by September 26 to understand if Galizia’s death could have been prevented.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has chosen retired judge Michael Mallia to preside over the inquiry, said the Maltese government.

Apart from Mallia, a retired law professor and a retired forensics expert will also be a part of the inquiry committee.

Three men are already under arrest since December 2017 for allegedly carrying out the murder. While they are due to stand for trial, the police maintain that it is trying to find out who had ordered Galizia’s killing and with what motive.

The Maltese government, talking about the independent inquiry, has said that it should not prejudice the ongoing police investigation and should conclude its work within nine months.

Muscat, who has been targeted by the opposition and critics since the incident, has offered a €1m ($1.1m) reward for anyone who gives out information regarding those behind the killing.

Galizia was known for her anti-corruption stance and writing against the Prime Minister. She had written about cases of money laundering and corruption among the high ranking officers.

The journalist was killed after a mobile-bomb, which was planted in her car, went off. Her family has been demanding a public inquiry claiming that it is the only way to uncover the truth behind Galizia’s killing.