Updated 9.25pm –
The European Parliament committee tasked with monitoring the rule of law in Malta has called on the government to stop its passport sales contract with Henley & Partners and to publish the Egrant inquiry report in full.
The call was made at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee (Libe) in Strasbourg on Monday evening.
In a resolution, the committee said it also considered of “utmost importance” a solution for a memorial site in Valletta for Daphne Caruana Galizia so as to allow unhindered remembrance.
The use of the Great Siege monument as a memorial to the slain journalist has been an ongoing tussle between activists and the authorities.
The committee said a solution, reached in association with the Caruana Galizia family and civil society, would be an important step in healing the rift in society,
Dutch MEP Sophia in’t Veld who presented the draft resolution, reiterated the committee’s call on government members to withdraw libel cases being faced by the mourning Caruana Galiza family. They have enough grief to deal with, she insisted.
Addressing the debate about the resolution, PN MEP Roberta Metsola said she “has never and will never be shut up by little populists banging their fists to try to intimidate us into silence.”
The resolution, she said, gave a stark picture of the situation under the current government.
She also backed a call for the implementation of the Venice Commission proposals for constitutional changes to improve the rule of law in Malta.
Dr Metsola called for an annual rule of law mechanism that put all member states under the same scrutiny.
PL MEP Miriam Dalli also referred to the Venice Commission, noting however, that the resolution seemed to disregard the fact that the commission itself had called for a public discussion about the recommendations.
Reacting to the call for a public inquiry into the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia, Dr Dalli said the government had never dismissed this possibility, but a public inquiry could not be held while a magisterial one was under way.
Meanwhile, the main conclusions of the Egrant inquiry had been published – the non-publication of the whole report was in line with advice given by the Attorney General, she added.
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