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Daphne murder public inquiry call “politically motivated” - government

Ministers see efforts to belittle and discredit ongoing investigation

File photo - Ministers Owen Bonnici and Helena Dalli seen with Commissioner Vĕra Jourová.

File photo - Ministers Owen Bonnici and Helena Dalli seen with Commissioner Vĕra Jourová.

A call by a group of MEPs for an independent inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia murder has been dismissed by the government as “politically motivated”, with EU Affairs Minister Helena Dalli and Justice Minister Owen Bonnici insisting this was all part of efforts to “belittle and discredit” the ongoing investigation.

In a letter sent on Wednesday to the European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Věra Jourovà, in reply to correspondence sent last week by five MEPs from different political groupings, the ministers said they “object to the content” which they believe as “loaded with innuendos”.

The joint letter of 10 October 2018 from five MEPs purportedly asking the Commission to closely monitor the investigation into the assassination of Ms Daphne Caruana Galizia and to support ‘the call for an independent public inquiry…into the role of the Maltese state in the assassination’ says a lot about the impartiality of the mission conducted by these MEPs representing the LIBE and PANA committees,” the ministers wrote.

The five MEPs - David Casa, Ana Gomes, Monica Macovei, Maite Pagazaurtundúa and Stelio Kouloglou – also urged the European Commission to monitor the investigation into the murder closely.

One of the five – Mr Casa – had also written to Mr Timmermans, urging him to back calls for a public inquiry. In a reply to that letter, Dr Bonnici and Dr Dalli sent Mr Timmermans their own letter, saying Mr Casa’s claims were “entirely baseless” and littered with “political posturing” and no proof.

Dismissing the five MEPs’ claims, the two ministers go on to argue that the content of their letter “is totally unwarranted and intended solely to attract attention presumable for ulterior motives”.

The pair also go on to inform the Commission that “every major allegation” levelled against the government is being investigated by independent magistrates, which they said reflected Malta’s strong rule of law.

“Once again, Malta reiterates its willingness to engage with the Commission and all other European and international stakeholders to provide a comprehensive and factual understanding of the situation,” Dr Dalli and Dr Bonnici concluded.

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