On the second anniversary of her murder, a report published in the British newspaper The Guardian claims that a senior European monitor has raised serious concerns about the police investigation into the killing of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Speaking to The Guardian on the second anniversary of Caruana Galizia’s death, Pieter Omtzigt, a special rapporteur for the Council of Europe, listed a catalogue of alleged failings and said he was concerned the authorities may have turned down evidence that could lead to those who commissioned the killing.
According to the same report Omtzigt claimed that, “Individual officers may be doing their best, but the approach of the police force as a whole, and of the politicians responsible for it, does not match the prime minister’s promise to leave no stone unturned.”
A member of the Dutch parliament, Omtzigt was appointed to monitor the case last year by the Council of Europe, a human rights body whose assembly consists of elected representatives from 42 states, ranging from the UK to Russia.
The Guardian continues that among the failings identified by Omtzigt is the failure so far to agree a plea deal with one of the alleged hitmen, Vincent Muscat, who has spoken to police about a supposed intermediary.
“I am concerned that the authorities may have turned down evidence that could lead to whoever ordered the murder,” Omtzigt said. “And I am also worried that neither Mr Muscat, nor his lawyer, nor others who may be concerned by this situation – including the alleged intermediary – have been provided with adequate protection.”
Speaking to The Guardian, Omtzigt raised further concerns, including the delayed removal of a senior officer from the case despite a conflict of interest; the refusal of a copy of Caruana Galizia’s laptop from German police, who had obtained the data; a complaint by the former head of Europol about unsatisfactory cooperation from the Maltese police; and anonymous briefings to journalists about imminent breakthroughs that turned out to be false.
Meanwhile, the article continued that the rapporteur’s efforts to monitor the case have led to verbal attacks from Malta’s prime minister and fears for his own safety.
According to the same report, published earlier today, senior members of Muscat’s investigation have refused meetings requested by Omtzigt. “Every time I ask sharp, factual questions about the case or request meetings, they refuse any answer and come up with all kinds of stories,” Omtzigt told The Guardian.