Malta News Briefing – Friday 30 July 2021

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Latest Update- News Portal Briefing

Times of Malta reports that Ministers were tight-lipped on Friday morning when asked for their reaction to the damning conclusions of a public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

MaltaToday reports that the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia have accepted the Prime Minister’s apology on the State’s shortcomings for having fostered the environment that led to the journalist’s assassination.

Newsbook reports that Parliament interrupted its summer recess to debate the findings of the inquiry looking into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, though the debate added little new to the the conversation.

TVM reports that The vaccination certificate for all those in the 12 to 15 age group can be downloaded through a PIN code forwarded by the health authorities instead of by using the number on the reverse side of the identity card document

Updated 1245

Malta’s Covid-19 death rate no longer lowest in Europe: Malta’s Covid-19 death rate is no longer the lowest in Europe, according to the weekly European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The ECDC’s rates are worked out from the previous weeks’ figures. The latest numbers reflect the situation between July 12 and July 25. Malta’s 14-day death notification rate per 1,000,000 inhabitants now stands at 1.94, according to the figures. Malta now also has the fourth-highest infection rate, at 490.1 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Inquiry findings should be the start of a national recovery- President George Vella: A public inquiry that found the state should be held responsible for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia should serve as the starting point for a national recovery, President George Vella said. He added that he had taken note of the conclusions and recommendations of the inquiry board, saying that these recommendations should be respected and implemented where possible. The President said he believed that the report should serve as a starting point for the beginning of a national recovery from the trauma left by the murder.

Covid-19 Update: There were 111 new cases found today as 199 people recovered. 3,693 swab tests were taken as active cases reached 1,972. The average age of yesterday’s cases was 33. In total, 36 Covid-19 positive patients are in Mater Dei, one of whom is in the ITU.

Newspaper review

The Independent
 leads with the publication of the Caruana Galizia public inquiry report which holds the state responsible for the journalist’s assassination. The panel concluded that state bodies failed to acknowledge the risks to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s life.

In-Nazzjon says that the public inquiry report censures the state for having failed to take the necessary precautions to avoid the attack on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s life. The 430-page document says that the police had the obligation to protect the journalist.

The Times quotes from the public inquiry report that an environment of impunity that left Daphne Caruana Galizia exposed was created from the Office of the Prime Minister and spread to other state institutions.

L-Orizzont says that the judges on the inquiry panel found no evidence of material involvement by state officials in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia but the state is collectively responsible for a collapse of the rule of law that facilitated the killing.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech that the public now expects the Prime Minister to announce who is going to take the responsibility for the Caruana Galizia murder. Reacting to the conclusion of the inquiry, Grech said that impunity shelters criminals.

L-Orizzont follows a press conference by Prime Minister Robert Abela in reaction to the conclusions of the public inquiry. Abela said that, as the current Prime Minister, he extended a formal apology to the Caruana Galizia family.

In-Nazzjon reports on the election of Michael Piccinino as the new PN secretary-general. On Thursday, the party’s Executive Committee also confirmed nominations for other top positions within its structures.

Morning Briefing

PM apologises after Caruana Galizia report points fingers at State

Prime Minister Robert Abela has publicly apologised following what a public inquiry called responsibility of the state for failing to prevent the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Addressing a press briefing, Abela said compensation will be considered as part of a reconciliation process. “I was appointed prime minister after the public inquiry into the murder started. But I am now prime minister and it is now up to me to apologise for the state’s shortcomings,” Abela told a press conference hours after the inquiry’s report was published. “No one expected the impact of what happened in October 2017 to go away overnight. This is a wound that will heal slowly, and we must never fall for the temptation of forgetting what happened. More than a way of reacting, this report should be another step in this process of healing”, he added.

Taking a different tone, former PN Joseph Muscat said he acceppted the conclusions with reservations. “I do hope that others will accept the result of other inquiries by members of the same judiciary, such as the Egrant case, rather than continuously casting ill-founded doubts on them”, Muscat wrote on social media.

The inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia came to the conclusion that the State was responsible for her death, pointing towards a “culture of impunity” at the highest levels in Castille, but also in other regulatory bodies. The judges noted a complete collapse of the rule of law, saying the state failed to recognise the real and immediate risks to Caruana Galizia’s life. The judges appealed for steps to be taken to regulate the links between politicians and big business.

Bernard Grech says Abela should kick Muscat out, calls on Police Commissioner to take action

Bernard Abela, PN leader said that the inquiry had pointed to a lack of action by the authorities, a lack of adequate protection for the journalist and a ampaign of hate mounted against her from the Office of the Prime Minister. “Those who were supposed to protect us facilitated this macabre killing. Daphne was demonised and stripped of protection. Instead of protecting her, they protected their own interests,” he said. Bernard Grech also called on the PM cut ties with Joseph Muscat, suggesting that he the latter is also kicked out of the Labour Party, and to ensure that the police commissioner carries out his duties, and charge those involved. Grech said now was not the time for words but for real action and asked what excuse Robert Abela would find to keep these Ministers associated with Muscat in the cabinet.

Protestors demand action against Muscat

A number of protestors asked PM Robert Abela to cut ties with Joseph Muscat and any links within his party to people involved in his Cabinet. Repubblika President Robert Aquilina said that “we can no longer tolerate your dragging of feet. This inquiry should not be put on a shelf and forgotten. We want it to be the start of the healing process for our country. This should not be another match of political football, but to serve as a guide to all those who wish to enter politics in this country.”

Covid-19 Update: 95 new cases were reported on Thursday while 229 people recovered. 3,795 swab tests were taken as active cases reached 2,060. In total, 33 Covid-19 positive patients are in Mater Dei, two of whom are in the ITU.

CDE News