The European Commissioner for Justice, Vera Jourova, on Thursday called on Malta’s government to ensure that the investigation into the death of journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia is “independent and exhaustive”. She also expressed concern about Malta’s respect for European legislation against money laundering.
“The Commission expects an independent and thorough investigation to uncover who is really responsible for Daphne’s murder” which has “deeply shocked Europe,” she said during a visit to Malta.
Often described as a “one-woman Wikileaks”, Daphne Caruana Galizia had exposed some of the worst aspects of Maltese politics, slamming Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (Labour) but also the leader of the opposition. She had made many enemies with her attacks, which were often tough and personal.
She was killed on the 16th of October 2017 in a car bomb explosion. Three men charged on the 5th of December with the crime have pleaded not guilty of manufacturing the bomb used in the explosion and of being part of a criminal organization.
Jourova said she would meet on Friday with officials overseeing the investigation into the journalist’s murder.
She also called for greater vigilance on the sale of “golden passports” by the Maltese authorities, which enables foreigners to acquire Maltese nationality if they have resided for at least one year on the Mediterranean island.
“Becoming a Maltese citizen also means becoming a European citizen, with all its rights, including freedom of movement,” the Commissioner stressed, adding that Maltese nationality should only be granted to people “who have a real link to the country”.
“We must not enable suspicious people to come to Europe and get citizenship, to use it for money laundering or to cause a security risk,” she explained. “The Commission has a legitimate right to require some basic requirements.”
“We have to step up the fight against money laundering (…) I fear there are gaps in the Maltese system,” she added.
The Brussels Times