In a shocking response to the Byline Times a person identified by that website as the “head of communications for the Maltese government” said the word “‘assassination’ is a very politically loaded word, which I refute”.

Though the government has up to now avoided using the term “assassination” when describing the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia, I’m not aware of previous occasions where the use of the terms by others has been “refuted” by the government.

The Byline Times was asking the government to comment on Pieter Omtzigt’s report, adopted by the Council of Europe’s Justice and Human Rights Committee and the failure of the government to put on trial anyone in connection with the assassination while no clue yet exists about who was the mastermind behind the crime.

To this, the government replied, “I’m afraid you’re not being informed correctly, particularly on the current police investigations following leads to the masterminds of the Caruana Galizia murder.” The reply did not go on to provide any further information or clarification that might provide an alternative to the alleged misinformation.

Byline Times asked Pieter Omtzigt to react to the government’s refutation of the term “assassination”.

He replied: “I know of nobody who has an alternative explanation for this being an assassination. It was not an accident, it was a car bomb. Car bombs… are not placed by mistake, and we still have not seen anybody put on trial for placing the bombs.

“We have basically no clue who ordered or masterminded it. But, it is an assassination, and I find it quite worrying that even that is being disputed. I am looking forward to hearing from the Maltese Government. First, a reply to my report and, secondly, an explanation of how this cannot be an assassination.

“The Maltese Government did not put forward an amendment to change the title of the report. You can actually amend the title or try to, and ‘assassination’ is in the title.”

The full feature on the Byline Times is linked here.