Police chief to meet Daphne case rapporteur

CoE's Pieter Omtzigt will also meet FIAU boss and Attorney General

Lawrence Cutajar. Right: Peter Grech.

Lawrence Cutajar. Right: Peter Grech.

Top officials invited to a meeting with Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt, Council of Europe rapporteur monitoring investigations into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder have accepted the invitation.

The rapporteur will be coming to Malta in the coming weeks as part of his work investigating the journalist’s murder and the state of the rule of law on the island. He has so far requested meetings with Attorney General Peter Grech, Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, Chief Justice Joseph Azzopardi and the head of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit Kenneth Farrugia.

Contacted by the Times of Malta, the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner confirmed they intended to accept the invitation and so did Mr Farrugia.

“Kindly note that the FIAU will accept the invitation from the Council of Europe as we did with other invitations received from other EU Delegations,” Mr Farrugia said when asked about the invite. The Attorney General as well as Mr Cutajar both simply confirmed their attendance to the meetings.

Times of Malta could not confirm whether the Chief Justice had also accepted the rapporteur’s invitation to meet.

Announcing that he would be coming to Malta on October 22, the Dutch MP said that during his visit he also hoped to meet with government ministers, senior law enforcement and judicial figures, but did not elaborate who these were.

Last month, the government had requested the removal of Mr Omtzigt, with former Labour home affairs minister Manuel Mallia asking the Council of Europe to withdraw his mandate.

While the request was turned down, a spokesman for the Office of the Prime Minister backed Dr Mallia’s call, insisting that the government was disappointed that Mr Omtzigt was not replaced by someone “who can be trusted to be independent, impartial, and conduct the review with integrity”. According to the OPM spokesman, comments by the rapporteur made it clear he was not acting in such a way.

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