Daphne Caruana Galizia: ARTICLE 19 calls for fully independent public inquiry

Daphne Caruana Galizia: ARTICLE 19 calls for fully independent public inquiry - Protection

On the second anniversary of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, ARTICLE 19 calls on the Maltese Prime Minister to establish a fully independent public inquiry into her murder.

ARTICLE 19’s Head of Europe and Central Asia, Sarah Clarke said:

“Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed because she mattered, because her work mattered. She was killed to send a message to other journalists investigating corruption at the highest levels of government to be silent.

“Ten days before her assassination, Daphne said that her biggest fear was that her example might discourage other journalists – particularly women journalists – from speaking out.

“Two years later there is complete impunity for those who ordered her killing. And those exceptionally brave journalists in Malta, continuing Daphne’s investigation, remain at risk.

“Article 19, alongside all of the world’s leading free expression organisations, is yet again calling on Prime Minister Muscat to undertake a public inquiry — one that is fully independent, impartial and effective and fully in line with Malta’s obligations under Article 2 of the ECHR. Nothing else will suffice.”

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed on 16 October 2017 by a car bomb that was detonated as she drove away from her family home in Bidnija, in Northern Malta.  She was 53 years old. The last words she wrote were ‘there are crooks everywhere. The situation is desperate.’ Two years since her brutal murder, the Maltese authorities have yet to identify and prosecute all those involved in planning and carrying the attack. Dozens of civil defamation lawsuits continue against her posthumously, which our organisations consider vexatious and not in line with international best practice. A protest memorial honouring her memory in Valetta, Malta’s capital, is being repeatedly destroyed on the orders of the Minister for Justice, Owen Bonnici. Three men have now been formally charged with her murder but a date for their trial has yet to be set while those who ordered her killing remain at large.

The Maltese authorities’ recent announcement to launch a public enquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia is a long overdue and essential step towards justice. However, ARTICLE 19 and other freedom of expression organisations have raised concerns about whether this  inquiry will be fully independent and impartial.

We call on the Maltese Government to establish a truly independent and impartial public inquiry that takes into account the concerns and requirements raised by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

On 16 October 2019, there will be vigils to remember Daphne Caruana Galizia and calls for justice in Valletta, London, Brussels, Berlin, and Vienna.