Malta PM to meet slain journalist’s family over inquiry

Published September 21, 2019, 10:11 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Agence France-Presse

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has agreed to meet the family of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia to discuss their concerns over an independent inquiry into her death, a spokesman said Saturday.

Caruana Galizia, described by supporters as a "one-woman WikiLeaks," had highlighted corruption in Malta (AFP Photo/Matthew Mirabelli)
Caruana Galizia, described by supporters as a “one-woman WikiLeaks,” had highlighted corruption in Malta (AFP Photo/Matthew Mirabelli)

The meeting will be held once Muscat returns to Malta from an UN summit in New York, a government spokesman told AFP.

Muscat on Friday appointed a retired judge to head a public inquiry into the 2017 car bombing that killed journalist and blogger Caruana Galizia.

While her family hailed his surprise announcement, it said it wanted assurances over the impartiality of those involved.

The inquiry, which must be concluded within nine months, will be headed by retired judge Michael Mallia, who will work alongside legal expert Ian Refalo and former police forensic expert Anthony Abela Medici.

Refalo has previously advised the government on legal matters and Abela Medici was recently appointed a government commissioner.

The news of the probe came days ahead of the expiry of a Council of Europe deadline for an independent inquiry.

On Saturday the Council said it welcomed the investigation and “will follow the work of the now established inquiry commission very closely and attentively”.

Caruana Galizia, described by supporters as a “one-woman WikiLeaks,” had highlighted corruption in Malta, including among politicians.

Muscat and his family were among those accused by her investigations and her blog, which often launched highly personal attacks.

The prime minister’s office said it had agreed to the inquiry after it was assured it would not undermine criminal investigations into the killing.

Three men are facing trial, but the masterminds have not been identified.

 
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