EU URGES MALTA TO SPEED UP MOVES ON JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE


18/12/2019




İrem UZUN -TDO- The European Commission urged Malta on Monday to speed up reforms to ensure the independence of its judiciary amid uproar over the investigation into the 2017 murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. In expressing its "concern on the situation in Malta", the EU’s Vice-President responsible for Justice, Didier Reynders asked the government to accelerate its reforms connected to the rule of law, insisting on a rigid timeframe for the implementation of changes.

The reforms include securing an "effective and autonomous prosecution service with clear protections from the risk of political interference".  On the other hand, Andrew Galizia,the son of murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, has called for new EU legislation to monitor the rule of law. Criticizing the judicial process, Galizia stressed that “many of the crimes my mother uncovered were European crimes, crimes that involved several jurisdictions. It is impossible for one single police [force] to deliver justice for many of these crimes. EU membership allowed the free flow of money and political support at European level, without the free flow of justice and police investigation.”

A drawn-out inquiry has led Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to offer his resignation after his former chief of staff was briefly arrested by police investigating the murder. Muscat has said he will resign in mid-January once a new leader of his Labour Party is picked, but the European Parliament told EU leaders last Thursday he should go immediately to ensure the investigation is not compromised.


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