The EU Commission is closely following developments in Malta from close quarters during discussions held in the first college meeting of new EU Commissioners and chaired by President Ursula Von Der Leyen. She expressed her concerns during her first news conference as EU Commission President.
In a further development UN rapporteurs called on investigations into the homicide of Daphne Caruana Galizia to be held without interference or conflicts of interest.
Ursula Von Der Leyen said:
“I am very concerned by the recent developments in Malta and we are following the situation very closely. To be very clear on that: we harshly condemn the murder of journalist Daphne. Her murder was an attack on free media.”
She called for complete and independent investigations:
“I expect there to be a thorough and independent investigation, free from any political interference. Europol is in Malta, it is providing support to the Maltese authorities, it is crucial that all those responsible are brought to justice as soon as possible.”
Von Der Leyen was addressing a media news conference after the college met with its agenda which included among other matters the current situation in Malta after a report made by the Commission’s Vice President and the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders.
The UN’s rapporteur on the Liberty of Expression, David Kaye, and the special rapporteur for Extra-Judicial Killings, Agnes Callamard, said the resignation of the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat should signal the beginning but certainly not the end for genuine responsibility to be carried for the homicide of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
The two UN officials said the Public Inquiry and any investigation or prosecution should proceed without even the least trace of suspicions that there are conflicts of interest. They said all investigations must take into account all factors, including corruption allegations that were being investigated by Caruana Galizia.