Protesters hold up placards and pictures of the murdered Maltese blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia as they gather outside the prime minister's office in Valletta, Malta, on November 20, 2019. CPJ and other press freedom groups are reiterating their call for an independent investigation into the journalist's killing. (AFP/Matthew Mirabelli)

Malta must avoid political interference in Caruana Galizia investigation

By Gulnoza Said/CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator on November 26, 2019 3:03 PM ET

CPJ and nine other international press freedom organizations today released a joint statement reiterating that the investigation into the assassination of Maltese blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia must be independent and free from political interference.

In recent days, Malta has detained two suspects in connection to the 2017 murder of Caruana Galizia, in addition to the three men who have been in jail in connection to the murder since December 2017. On November 14, authorities arrested Melvin Theuma, a suspected middleman, and on November 20, police detained Yorgen Fenech, a businessman described in reports as a “person of interest” in the murder. Neither Theuma, who was granted a presidential pardon on November 25, nor Fenech, who was released today on bail, have given public statements about the investigation.

Since the arrests, Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has emerged as the main source of information on the investigation, including on possible pardons, while the police commissioner and attorney general have been absent from communications with the press, the joint statement said.

The statement, led by Article 19, called on Maltese authorities to ensure the independence and impartiality of the investigation.

The full statement can be read here.

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