Malta Should Use Journalist Murder Inquiry As Impetus For 'Healing' - President

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th July, 2021) Maltese President George Vella said on Friday that the investigation of the 2017 murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, which accused the government of indirect responsibility, should launch a "national healing process."

On Thursday, an independent public inquiry conducted by a team of judges released a report in which the Maltese government was accused of creating conditions conducive to the unpunished murder of the journalist. Caruana Galizia was bombed in her car in the town of Bidnija in October 2017.

"The President believes this report can, and must serve as the point of departure for a national healing process for the trauma this brutal assassination has precipitated since 2017," the president's office said on Facebook, as quoted by Malta Today.

Vella has taken notice of the findings of the inquiry, and while he needs more time to process them, his initial reaction was that the recommendations should be respected and, where possible, implemented, according to the statement.

Protests have reportedly taken place in the capital of Valletta after the publication of the report. Protesters urged the government to get rid of officials who contributed to the creation of an atmosphere of impunity. Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela publicly apologized for the omissions of the state.

Caruana Galizia's murder is largely tied to an anti-corruption investigation she was conducting with the help of information uncovered in the leaked Panama papers. She accused a group of high-ranking Maltese politicians, including then-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife, of connections with an implicated company. Registered in Dubai, 17 Black could be a front company to launder illegal earnings, the journalist claimed.

The Caruana Galizia assassination triggered a large political crisis in Malta, resulting in the resignation of Muscat and several other government officials.

The investigation into the murder of the journalist is ongoing.