The judges presiding the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry this morning accepted a request by Repubblika to make submissions addressing the inquiry’s terms of reference. The judges said this would be normal if this had been a public inquiry in England and they would be adopting the same approach. The inquiry board invited anyone interested to make their own submissions if they wish.
Repubblika said it believes the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry has been exceptional when compared with the response of the State to the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The inquiry has asked difficult questions to witnesses and forced the only form of proper examination of the circumstances in which Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated and the causes of the crime, how it was allowed to happen and the failings of the State in dealing properly with the matter after the fact.
Repubblika said it’s submissions:
- show how Joseph Muscat and people within his circle enjoyed and continue to enjoy impunity in spite of mounting evidence that should have led to proper investigations and prosecution for crimes under existing law. The organisation cites examples such as events connected with John Dalli’s return from Brussels, the Pilatus affair, the Panama Papers and others. They argue that this level of impunity coupled with police failure to act appropriately after a string of car bombings allowed the perpetrators of their crime to believe they would not be caught.
- Repubblika shows how Joseph Muscat and his circle led a campaign to dehumanise Daphne Caruana Galizia, frustrating her right to privacy, family and property, ultimately denying her the right to her very life.
- The NGO lists the failures of the State to mitigate the risks to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s life, including the effect of her isolation as a result of slander and vilification on political party media.
- They argue that the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia should be seen in the context of mafia infiltration in the fabric of Malta’s governance and society which Repubblika contends is dangerously underestimated. The NGO puts forward proposals for the adoption of anti-mafia and anti-racketeering legislation and procedures. They also make recommendations with respect to legislation to address unexplained wealth, abuse of office and other gaps in Malta’s legislative framework.
- They highlight the significance of public inquiries as tools for the growth of Malta’s democracy and as a means to document and learn lessons from administrative mistakes, systemic failings or willful wrongdoing.
- Repubblika’s submissions also include a discussion on how the state continues to fail to provide adequate protection to journalists and other agents of civil society that act independently in government and therefore, wrongly perceived by it as a form of opposition it should seek to suppress.
Repubblika argues in the submissions it filed today that “at the heart of the values we aspire to as a democracy, there should be the service of independent and critical journalism. Children should be taught to appreciate it, expect it and contribute to it as a key component of their formal education. The State must be reminded by a demanding citizenry that it must protect the independence of this democratic pillar from the intrusion, censorship, even violence of those among us who are better served by the suppression of these freedoms.”
Speaking at the inquiry this morning, Repubblika’s president Robert Aquilina recalled that Repubblika was founded by individuals who came together in the wake of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The submissions say that Repubblika’s founders “did this because we were angry and dissatisfied with the action of, or failure to act by, the authorities before and after Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed.
“Even as we demand that justice in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s case is served without any further delay, our concerns today are more profound than they were in our shock and anger on the afternoon of 16 October 2017.”