Questions loom about rule of law and government's impartiality in Malta
Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution today on the rule of law in Malta strongly condemning the brutal murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia last month.
The resolution was tabled by five political groups, while the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) group – the political family where Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat belongs – decided to pursue their own interpretation of the events. Liberals and Democrats, in accordance with the majority in the Parliament, find that the government's efforts to conduct independent investigations of the case have been largely insufficient so far. The resolution – not supported by S&D - calls on the Maltese government to investigate Ms Galizia's case thoroughly, while also acting to protect the safety of journalists and whistle-blowers in the country. In broad terms MEPs have also expressed their concerns about the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including freedom of the media and the independence of the police and the judiciary in Malta.
Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz MEP, member of the LIBE Committee and co-author of the motion for resolution said:
"Widespread corruption related to questions about the Panama Papers was evident to the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering and Tax Avoidance (PANA), but we would never have imagined that we would be facing the news of the assassination of Daphne Caruana. This resolution is not only a strong condemnation of her murder, but it also stays true to what she has told us. Staying true to what we as a Parliament have witnessed, we denounce the systematic threat to the Rule of Law in Malta and the irregular practices related to global financial and economic crimes. We want to send the strongest possible message against everything that is happening in Malta and to condemn corrupt financial practices globally, that many states haven't yet sufficiently addressed."
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