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Karin Grech remembered in emotional memorial service

The statue commemorating Karin Grech in a public garden in San Ġwann opposite the parish church. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The statue commemorating Karin Grech in a public garden in San Ġwann opposite the parish church. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

One of four children from San Ġwann who yesterday read out prayers and poems dedicated to Karin Grech on the 33rd year of her death, appealed for people with any information about the case to come forward.

“Whoever keeps such information hidden is just as guilty as the perpetrator”.

The memorial service began with a Mass at San Ġwann parish church, where parish priest Fr Effie Mallia described the girl as an “innocent martyr” and a victim of human selfishness.

Ms Grech was killed on December 28 1977, aged 15, when she opened a letter bomb addressed to her gynaecologist father who was considered to be a strike breaker during a doctor’s strike.

Addressing the memorial service opposition and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat denounced the “insensitivity” of those who continued to deny “well-known facts” about the case.

In a clear reference to the government’s decision to appeal a recent court judgment which attributed the girl’s death to medico-political reasons, Dr Muscat said her death was a result of intolerance.

Speaking at the San Ġwann garden dedicated to the young girl, he added that her death and that of Raymond Caruana, who was killed due to his political allegiances, brought shame to those who committed the crimes.

However, such crimes also united people of “goodwill” in deep sorrow, regardless of their political views and raised awareness about the importance of mutual respect.

“Her memory is not being forgotten but being strengthened,” he added, with tears in his eyes.

The victim’s father, Edwin thanked the people who attended the service and said they were part of his family, filling him with the courage to face another year without his daughter.

“For all of you she has been dead for 33 years. For my family and me, she has only been dead for a year,” the 80-year-old said.

A recent court judgment awarded the Grechs €419,287 in compensation and found the government guilty of political discrimination in its original €200,000 compensation offer.

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