Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera yesterday summoned to her court Peter Caruana Galizia and Matthew Caruana Galizia, husband and son of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Hours after the assassination of their wife and mother they were dragged to court. They were made to wait for hours in the court lobby, there to face two of the people who most benefit from their loved one’s death: Keith Schembri and Chris Cardona. And after hours of waiting they were sent home unheard.
At the time when the closest relatives of the first ever victim of political assassination in Malta’s history deserved time to grief and somehow comfort each other, they were made to wait in the lobby of court. For nothing.
Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera did not choose for Daphne Caruana Galizia to die on the day she was Magistrate on call. Although in this country of strange coincidences one cannot put too far from one’s mind the notion that this too may have been part of the assassin’s careful plan.
Any inquiring Magistrate in a murder case would call in anyone who would have a reason to dislike the victim. Is Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera about to call herself?
When the family of the victim asks for the Magistrate to pass on her brief on this case to someone else, the deeper question to ask is if they cannot have confidence in the due course of justice, why should any of us?
In what world is it acceptable for relatives of a targeted political assassination to be dragged along with the suspects to court within hours of their loss? In what world would the investigators not have the decency to go to the victim’s home, apologise for interrupting their mourning and with tact and sympathy seek the information they need?
The actual scene of the crime which the Magistrate visited is a few metres from their home. What callous insensitivity, what utter disregard for human suffering, what thoroughly unjustified sense of self-importance, must one have to drive back to court and drag the victims of the greatest loss to selfless public service to wait around in the court lobby to be questioned?
Daphne Caruana Galizia’s life was dedicated to challenging the arrogance, corruption and moral bankruptcy of our institutions who seem to perceive the country and its citizens to be at their service not the other way round. In her death, the challenge has not ended. It has become sharper and ever more pronounced.
Let the institutions and their occupiers be warned. Daphne Caruana Galizia’s watch has not ended. It has merely passed to others.