The Maltese Government must commit to the rule of law in Malta and to justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia. After recent shocking revelations implicating government Ministers in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the European Parliament will today send a powerful message to the Maltese Government, in a Resolution put to vote today, with the rare support of every political group in the European Parliament.
For Vladimír Bilčík MEP, who negotiated the Resolution on behalf of the EPP Group, the implication of politicians at the highest level of government in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination is shocking and outrageous. “Testimony has made clear that it was the links between the criminal underworld, the Maltese Government and the Malta Labour Party that allowed the assassination to take place. The Maltese Government now needs to deploy all necessary resources to bring to justice both those responsible for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and those who gave them political protection and patronage. The Maltese Government must also bring to justice all those implicated in the cases currently being investigated or reported which she had brought to light prior to her assassination. We expect the European Commission to maintain pressure on the Maltese authorities to that end”, Bilčík said. The European Parliament will also highlight in its Resolution the worrying developments in Malta which have led to serious and persistent threats to the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including threats to the freedom of the media and political interference in the independence of law enforcement and the judiciary. “The Maltese Government must take all possible steps to ensure an environment for critical, independent journalism in Malta and the accountability of politicians and officials. At the time of her assassination, Daphne Caruana Galizia had her assets frozen in conjunction with four libel suits brought by Malta’s former Minister for the Economy and had more than 40 legal cases pending against her. Journalists are increasingly being issued with similar so-called ‘strategic lawsuits against public participation’ (SLAPP), intended purely to frustrate their work and prevent accountability. We call on the Commission to propose EU-wide anti-SLAPP laws before the end of this year. In order to protect journalists from vexatious lawsuits, we have to better protect journalists and ensure media freedom and the rule of law in all EU Member States”, concluded Bilčík.