Investigation into murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia ‘breaches human rights’

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Dec 12, 2017
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Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in October

Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

External investigators must urgently be drafted in to assist with the investigation into the murder of a journalist in Malta, two British lawyers have said.

They said it was “essential and extremely urgent” that impartial investigators be called into the investigation into the car bombing of Daphne Caruana Galizia because the Maltese authorities could be breaching her family’s human rights.

Caoilfhionn Gallagher, QC, and Jonathan Price, human rights specialist barristers at Doughty Street Chambers in London, said that Malta “is in flagrant violation of the Article 2 investigative duty and thus in breach of its obligations” under the European Convention on Human Rights. 

“From the information available at this stage it appears highly likely to us that the Maltese authorities have also violated other human rights of Ms Caruana Galizia and the bereaved family, under Articles 2, 3, 8, 10 and/or 13 of the convention, as well as under other international human rights treaties and domestic law,” they said.

According to the Press Association, Gallagher and Price called for the Maltese authorities to take swift action to remove Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta from his role and to apologise to the family “for the failure to appropriately update and involve them in the investigation, and alter the way in which information is provided to them to comply with Article 2’s requirements”.

Caruana Galizia, 53, an investigative journalist, died on October 16 when a bomb planted in her car exploded as she drove near her home in Malta. She had told police two weeks before the attack that she had been threatened.

She had worked for years to unearth corruption among politicians from all parties as well as exposing wrongdoing in the country’s criminal justice system.

The Maltese government responded angrily to the lawyers’ advice, issuing a saying that it was “very surprised that a firm of British solicitors, basing themselves solely on the information afforded to them by their clients, provided for publication of what is being called ‘urgent advice’ on the merits of a Maltese court case which is to be heard for the first time next week”.

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