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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament for International Enquiry on Web-Journalist Daphne Murder in Malta, after State Failed

EUParliament for International Enquiry on Web-Journalist Daphne Murder in Malta, after State Failed

Written by ACM
Thursday, 28 March 2019
  pe_votes_on_daphne_resolution_eurofora_screenshot_400

*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- In an UnExpected Last-Minute, Hard-Fought but Succesfull Move, a Crystal-Clear Majority of 315 against 236 MEPs Voted an Amendment urging European Institutions and Member States to initiate an "International Enquiry" on the Brutal Murder, by a Bomb Explosion, of WebNews Independent Investigative Journalist Daphne Caruana-Galizia in Malta, after the blatant Failure of the current Government to find Who and Why was the Instigator, while also Harassment still persists there, even against the Victim's Family and her Memory...

(Comp., among others, also: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/webjournalistmurder.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentpresidentoncoeandjournalistmurder.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/daphnewebjournalistmurderenquiry.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/daphnepressfreedomandcorruption.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/rsfleaderondaphnemurderandjournalism.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucoenewsondaphnemurder.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/webmediaandpluralism.html, etc).  

ep_amendment_on_independent_investigation_for_daphne_voted_with_clear_majority_eurofora_in_pressroom 

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 - "Our (EU's) Agencies Europol and Eurojust (that MEPs' Resolution asks to Strengthen) are fully Available", confirmed EU Commissioner for Justice, Eva Jourova, speaking to the relevant EU Parliament's Plenary Debate, Earlier this week in Strasbourg, (Monday Afternoon), and "Agree(d)" with them that EU Commission "has" to pursue "a Dialogue with Malta", particularly on notorious Problems about "Independence of the Judiciary" (etc), "and We (EU) are going to Do so", she promised.  

 eucom_on_daphne_murder__comparisoncontsrast_eurofora_screenshot_in_pressroom_euparl_400_01

---------------------------

+ Meanwhile, in Addition, since EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, speaking to "Eurofora", had timely expressed his Readiness to Cooperate also with the CoE in the Investigations on Daphne's Murder, (See: ..., etc), the PanEuropean Organisation's Assembly's special Rapporteur, Experienced Top MEP Peter Omtzigt from the Netherlands, was preparing, in parallel, a 2nd Hearing on that unresolved yet case,    and relevant Developments (including, perhaps, inside its "Monitoring" Committee, etc) are expected during CoE Assembly's forthcoming Spring 2019 Plenary Session in Strasbourg, on early April.     

---------------pe_flags_wind_400

=> According to the exact Wording of the relevant Resolution, adopted Today, EU Parliament "Calls on (all) the EU Institutions" (i.e. also the Commission and the Council of Heads of State/Government), as well as on "the Member States", "to Initiate an independent International public Inquiry into the Murder of Daphne Caruana-Galizia", Extending Also into "the alleged Cases of Corruption, Financial Crimes, Money Laundering, Fraud and Tax Evasion reported by her, (among others also potential affairs), which Involve High-Ranking, current and former Public Officials of Malta", (up to the Prime Minister himself), as it reminds.

Meanwhile, CoE's "Venice Commission" ...highlighted", since "December 2018", that "it is an International Obligation of the Government [of Malta] to Ensure that the Media and Civil Society can play an Active Role in Holding Authorities Accountable", and this Includes a "Positive Obligation of States to Protect Journalists", as EU Parliament's Resolution reminds.

++ The Particularity of that Problem in Malta currently, became even more Obvious, after Recent Developments and Earlier MEPs' Debates, since anOther Murder, which Followed that of Daphne, this time in Slovakia, also of a Web Journalist (but working for Big Corporations, while Daphne's WebNews was a Brave Individual Creation of herself Alone), that of Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, on the Contrary, was almost Fully and Efficiently Investigated by the Slovak Authorities, who found and arrested 4 Suspects for the Killing, in Addition to prosecuting and Charging anOther Suspect as Instigator, Unveiled Links with Corruption Networks, and were Now Expected to extend the search also to the eventual Political Context of that case !

 - That's why EU Parliament's Resolution "Welcomes the Charges brought by the Slovak Authorities against the alleged Instigator of the Murders of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova, and the alleged Perpetrators of the Murder", while also "call(ing) ... to Continue the Investigation ...and to Ensure that All Aspects ("including ...Political") of the case are Fully Investigated", according to another Last-Minute Amendment, adopted Today with an even Wider Majority of 324 against 211 Votes.

pe_daphne__vote_eurofora_in_pressroom 

(+ This Strange, Big Contrast between the current Governments of Malta and Slovakia, had been initially Highlighted also by the co-Rapporteur Sophia in't Veld, Liberal Mep from the Netherlands, at a Committee's Meeting, a Month ago, but, apparenly, it was, meanwhile, Watered Down in the Draft Resolutionn, after immediate Reactions by various "Socialist" MEPs then, as "Eurofora" had observed. So that, Today, it's by Adding a Specific Amendement, tabled by the "Greens", led this Week here by German MEP Sven Giegold, that EU Parliament's Plenary became able to Clarify that Key point)...

 euparl_rapporteur_sophie_mep_libn_daphne_murder_eurofora_screenshot_in_pressroom_400_01

+ Moreover, "Slovakia’s Prime Minister, and other High-ranking Government members, as well as the deputy General Prosecutor, and the Chief of Police, Resigned", in the context of "Kuciak's Murder",  while, on the Contrary, in Malta ...Nobody Resigned (yet) since Daphne's Murder ! 

 

++ Even Worse : Until Nowadays, "the Family of Daphne Caruana Galizia has to deal with Hate campaigns and Libel suits even After her Death, including from Members of the Maltese Government (up to the Prime Minister !), and the Deputy Prime Minister has indicated that he does Not believe withdrawing these libel suits is necessary". At the same time, "the Family and Friends of Daphne ...Also have to deal with ... Removal and Destruction of Remembrance items", EU Parliament's Resolution denounces.

- Already, Daphne's Youngest Son, Paul, (a London School of Economics' student), had told "Eurofora" that the Long Delay withOut Any Findings, by the current Maltese Authorities, of any Instigator, neither of the Motive of that Murder, might Risk even to let those who had been Detained as Suspects for simply Executing the Killing, to get Out of Jail... More Recently, Daphne's Husband, Peter, also told "Eurofora", during an event in her honour in Strasbourg, that "the (Maltese Authorities') Investigation is Stuck !"

+ Thus, earlier this Month, "Reporters wihout Borders"' International Director, Dr. Michael Rediske from Germany, replied to an "Eurofora" Question with a Bitter Denonciation of the fact that "Those who Can act, do Not want to do so !" But, "unfortunately, we canNot send them to the Haye International Criminal Court", he regretted...

++ Moreover, EU Commissioner for Justice, Vera Jourova, denounced, earlier this week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, also the Fact that "for Malta, the (EU) Commission is Concerned about the Lack of Efficiency in handling High-profile Corruption cases, at both the level of Investigation and Prosecution".

 - It's "UnBearabla that the Instigators of that Murder have Not Yet been Arrested, and that, perhaps, I'm afraid, the Release of the Executors is Prepared", Warned MEP Ana Gomes from Portugal, who had Led the EU Mission to Malta after the Murder of Daphne.

mep_a.gomes_v._muscat_daphne_murder_eurofora_400_01 

 -  The reason is that "the investigation is Blocked by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who commands the Police and the Attorney general", while "everything points to the Capture of the Government by the Mafia, being Behind the Murder", the outspoken MEP denounced.

+ And "It is InTolerable that Joseph Muscat continues to Protect the Corrupt ....in his Government, while persisting to Attack those who ask Justice for Daphne, including her Children, Persecuting them with Libel procedures", etc, (Comp. Supra).

-----------------------

Among the "Numerous Areas of Concern", noted by EU Parliament's Resolution, are also :

-  the "general and systematic Shortcomings in the fight against Money Laundering’ in Malta";  

- "the Maltese FIAU Breached its obligations’ under the EU anti- money laundering legislation and ...it did not fully implement the EBA recommendation";

- "some particular Banking institutions ...do Not comply with all regulatory Standards and requirements, (as is illustrated by the case of the Pilatus Bank and the withdrawal of its licence by the European Central Bank (ECB);

- "the ‘Egrant’ inquiry Report is not publicly available; ....Only the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and the Prime Minister’s communications officer have access to the full unredacted inquiry report".

- even if "the available conclusions do not confirm the claims linking the ownership of Egrant Inc. to the Maltese Prime Minister and his Wife", nevertheless, "subsequently no inquiry was launched to uncover the beneficial ownership of Egrant, which still remains to be clarified;"

- "Revelations concerning the beneficial owner of the ‘17 Black’ company - now claimed to be the CEO of Tumas Group, who was awarded a contract by the Maltese Government to construct the ElectroGas power station on Malta - further underline the Need for more Transparency regarding Financial interests and links to members of Government;"

- Malta "Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, and the current Minister of Tourism and former Minister of Energy, are the Only acting High-ranking Government Officials in any EU Member State who were found to be beneficial Owners of a legal Entity exposed in the Panama Papers;" Moreover, "the Latter ... made Declarations that Contradicted Documents";

- "Residency requirements for applicants for the Maltese investor Citizenship and residence scheme ... (are) not in line with the conditions ... agreed with the Commission in 2014" ;

- "allegations regarding the sale of Medical and Schengen visas in Libya and Algeria by Maltese officials", etc.,

- In such a Context, "Journalists, and in particular ...investigative journalists, are increasingly faced with ...Lawsuits  ... against them, intended purely to frustrate their work"

- "the Family of Daphne Caruana Galizia has to deal with Hate campaigns and Libel suits even After her Death, including from Members of the Maltese Government"; (etc+)...

--------------------

pe_resolution_daphne_adoption_eurofora__pressroom_400 

=> This Resolution was Adopted by EU Parliament's Plenary, Today at Noon, with a Big Majority of 348 against Only 85 Votes, and 64 Abstentions

- In fact, Daphne's WebNews Site is full also of Many Other Issues, in Various Areas, where her Critical approach had led her to Investigate eventual scandals. Thus, it seems that a More Thorough, Deep and Wider Examination of her Publications should be done for a comprehensive investigation of ALL possible motives which might explain her Murder.

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+In Addition, Today's Resolution includes also several developments concerning Wider Issues of EU's possible role on Rule of Law monitoring in Member States, which need serious analysis ad hoc.

 

 

(../..)

 

***

 

(NDLR: "DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors Earlier. A more Accurate, Full Final Version, might be Published asap).

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

imag0335_400


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
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ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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