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Minister sees no problem with having minister's husband investigating Caruana Galizia murder

Michael Farrugia expresses confidence in all members of the police force

Deputy Commissioner Silvio Valletta.

Deputy Commissioner Silvio Valletta.

Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said today that he had full confidence in Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta, husband of Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana, who is leading investigations into the car bomb murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The minister was questioned in parliament by Nationalist MP Simon Busuttil, who asked the minister whether he considered it inappropriate that a minister's husband was leading the investigation into the murder of a harsh critic of the government.

He said he was asking his question in view of the sensitivity of the case, not Mr Valletta’s professionalism. Justice, he said, had to be done and be seen to be done.

Dr Busuttil observed that Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera had abstained from the inquiry, even though her issue was not as much as that of Mr Valletta.

READ: Police commissioner: no issue with having deputy married to a minister

Dr Farrugia said he had confidence in all members of the police force, including the Commissioner and Mr Valletta. He also had full confidence in all members of the judiciary. He condemned all those who, he said, had written threatening messages to the Commissioner of Police on paper planes thrown at police headquarters during a protest on Sunday.

He did not judge officers on the basis of whether they were labourite or nationalist, or whether a labourite was investigating a nationalist, or vice versa, he said.

Dr Busuttil said he also condemned any threats made against the commissioner of police, even though he was continuing to call for his resignation.

Dr Farrugia said no one more than the government wanted the Caruana Galizia case to be solved, and the government continued to have full confidence in all members of the police force.

He said action would be taken against any member of the Force who abused, as had happened when a policeman wrote inappropriate words on Facebook related to the case.

Earlier, Dr Farrugia was asked whether an investigation was being made into the distribution of pictures of Ms Caruana Galizia’s remains, taken at the crime scene.

Dr Farrugia said he had no information on investigations carried out by the police, and one had to see whether the distribution of such pictures constituted a crime.

Intervening, Environment Minister Jose’ Herrera, who is a lawyer, said a crime would have been committed if the pictures were leaked from the inquiry’s files. The distribution of pictures taken by somebody who happened to be on the scene was not a crime, however distasteful it was.

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