Three members of the ad-hoc mission of the European Parliament to Malta made an informal visit to La Valletta last Friday. Ana Maria Gomes (Socialists & Democrats), David Casa (EPP) and Sven Giegold (Greens) held a number of high level exchanges of views. We met with Magistrate Anthony Vella (investigating Daphne’s murder), Magistrate Aaron Burgeja (investigating the Egrant case), Ivan Grech Mintoff, former EU-Commissioner John Dalli and with the members of the Maltese Parliament from Labour and Nationalist Party as well as civil society. The MEPs will write a report on the visit which will be handed over to a new working group on the “rule of law and the fight against corruption in EU member states” of the European Parliament. This working group will inter alia also deal with the situation in Malta and Slovakia.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented after the visit to Malta:
“The investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is in serious danger. The investigating magistrate Vella was offered promotion to a judge so that a new magistrate has to dig into the highly complex case. This will risk a lot of delay jeopardising that critical telecommunication data may be lost. Equally worrying is that all magistrates investigating the cases of highest importance for Malta such as the corruption allegations against minister Mizzi and prime minister aide Schembri, the Egrant case as well as the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia cannot concentrate on the these key files. They all have to care about dozens or even hundreds of other minor cases in parallel. Equally the international cooperation does not function as it should. Prime minister Muscat has not delivered on his promise to do all what is needed to find the culprits. More than ever an independent international investigation is needed to find the truth in Malta. The European Commission needs to step up its work on the rule of law in Malta.
Since the murder top international media has investigated a number of serious scandals in Malta. It is shocking that these scandals have not led to a strong response neither by the government nor by the police. Equally the Parliament failed to hold the government to account in order to ensure a full investigation of the revelations. Still no parliamentary investigation committee has been created since the murder. Lastly, the members of Parliament of the Labour party refused to support the European Parliament to hold minister Konrad Mizzi accountable who did not say the truth to the inquiry committee on the Panama Papers of the European Parliament. According to documents the tax haven companies created by him did not serve family purposes as claimed but business purposes”.
The preliminary programme of our visit:
All new revelations of the „Daphne project“ of investigative journalists: