Today Daphne Caruana Galizia, the murdered Maltese investigative journalist, will be laid to rest in Mosta (Malta). Her family made clear that representatives of the Maltese state are not welcome. The president of the European Parliament will attend on an invitation of Daphne’s family. Moreover, a group of renowned international journalists representing large newspapers such as The Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Financial Times have written to the European Commission demanding an investigation over the independence of the press in Malta. The signatories appeal to the EU Commission to ascertain that the rule of law and the freedom of speech and expression is upheld in Malta. MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“Today is a sad day for Europe. My deepest sympathy is with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family for their immeasurable loss. Her murder was an attack on our European values. This barbaric act shows that the rule of law and democracy should not be taken for granted in Europe. Even in Europe, those principles need to be defended and upheld every day. Europe must continue Galizia’s fight against corruption and money laundering. We need to stand side by side with the many citizens of Malta who demand an investigation and justice. They put their trust into a Europe of Values. We must not disappoint them. Europe must help to restore the rule of law and freedom of the press on Malta.
By focusing on the search for the murderers, the government must not divert attention from the deep-rooted shortcomings in the rule of law. Malta must find the people responsible for her murder, but with equal force change those structures that allowed this assassination to happen in the first place. By sending a delegation to Malta, the European Parliament makes very clear how serious it believes the threat to the rule of law to be. The European Commission should take a more active role in investigating the condition of rule of law in Malta. Statements by the responsible vice-president of the Commission, Timmermanns, remained far too vague. The Commission should also consider whether the opening of a treaty violation procedure would be appropriate. At last, because of the close ties between Maltese politicians and business, an international investigator should be included.”
Letter of leading journalists to the EU Commission and the Commission’s response: