EU calls on Malta to find journalist’s killersArchive
BRUSSELS: The European Union vowed to ensure that Malta finds the “barbarous” assassins of a journalist being buried there on Friday and to resolve potential structural problems with the rule of law on the island.
Reflecting concern in Europe over possible systemic failings in Maltese democracy, European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans called on the EU’s smallest state to leave “no stone unturned” in hunting the killers of investigative blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, who died in a car bombing last month.
“The eyes of Europe are on the Maltese authorities,” wrote Timmermans, a former Dutch foreign minister who as Jean-Claude Juncker’s deputy oversees the Brussels executive’s efforts to ensure member states respect democratic and judicial standards.
“If journalists are silenced, so is democracy,” he said in a reply, seen by Reuters, to a letter from European media editors urging the EU to ensure justice for Caruana Galizia.
“We want those directly and indirectly responsible for this horrible murder to be brought to justice. And we want the investigations to run their full course, so that any other related wrongdoings that may emerge can also be prosecuted and potential structural problems be resolved,” he added.
Caruana Galizia was a controversial figure who accused many of the most senior figures in both government and opposition of corruption and involvement in international money-laundering.
“We insist that the Maltese authorities leave no stone unturned to make sure that this atrocious, barbarous assassination does not lead to the situation that the perpetrators apparently want to achieve: that no-one dares ask pertinent questions and no journalist dares investigate the powers that be,” he added. “This will not happen in Europe. Not on this Commission’s watch.”
Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2017