The assassinations of Daphne Caruana Galizia and Ján Kuciak in Malta and Slovakia respectively have raised alarm bells that when it comes to the rule of law, corruption and the protection of journalists, all is not well in either Malta or Slovakia. Changes need to be made and now is the time to put the many words that members of Governments from both countries have spoken into concrete actions. The citizens of both countries should have their minds put at rest that their authorities are truly acting in their interest.
The Resolution approved today by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee pushes forward a number of actions that should be taken on the investigations taking place into both murders, primarily being that the masterminds of the murders should be identified and brought to justice as quickly as possible. Roberta Metsola MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman in the Committee and a member of the Working Group which drafted the Resolution, said: “There are a number of recurring issues in both Member States which require urgent action. A year after both assassinations, the masterminds are still at large, while the alleged criminal activities being investigated by both journalists before being murdered seem to have been kept on the shelf.”
Metsola continued: “We want the institutions in Malta to work and do their duty to protect the interests of all the Maltese people. We make a distinction between the Maltese authorities and the Maltese people and nation. We urge the Maltese Government to put its weight behind this Resolution and implement its call to actions immediately.” Notably, the Resolution calls on the Maltese authorities to set up an independent public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, to publish the full version of the Magistrate Aaron Bugeja Inquiry report, to stop selling passports with no genuine link to Malta, to investigate corruption and the link between the 17 Black company and Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, as well as to take concrete action against the orchestrated hate campaign against the memory and family of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Ivan Štefanec MEP, Head of the Slovakian Delegation of the EPP Group, said: “We cannot allow journalists to be murdered for doing an honest job. I am glad that the European Parliament is fulfilling its duty to act thoroughly and actively in such cases. We demand a thorough investigation into the murders and all the suspicions that are associated with them. This is the only way to restore citizens’ trust in justice and the rule of the law.“The Resolution calls on the Slovak authorities to ensure that journalists stop being attacked, to investigate all cases that Ján Kuciak was investigating, to prolong the Agreement of the Joint Investigation Team beyond April 2019, as well as to step up the fight against organised crime. The Resolution also calls for the swift adoption of transparent and objective rules and procedures for the selection of the new Slovak Police President this year, which should ensure independence and neutrality at the office.
The Resolution was drafted after visits by a cross-party group of MEPs to both Malta and Slovakia last September.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States