Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist, was murdered on Oct. 16, 2017, when a radio wired with explosives exploded in her car. It is believed that the motive of the murder was based on Galizia's investigation into money laundering scandals and corruption in Malta. It is believed data she gathered extensive information on the “money laundering mafia” conducting dirty business in Malta. A list of culprits, including links to the Maltese government, was about to be revealed.
Despite exposing some names involved in planting the bomb in Galizia's car, the real actors behind the murder have remained under wraps to this day.
EU member Malta, despite being a state based on fair laws, for some reason remained rather passive regarding the murder of Galizia. Statements by the Maltese government regarding the apprehension of the murderers were merely meaningless words. Citizens of Malta believe the real murderers were not the ones that planted the bomb in the car but those with close ties to the “money laundering mafia” within the government. The citizens have been proved right.
Regarding this murder, I shared my opinion in my article for Daily Sabah in 2018 when I said, “I believe the EU is going to remain indifferent toward this event and lose its believability.”
Unfortunately, the EU has not put enough pressure on Malta about the crime and today, little progress has been made. Journalists within the EU have worked hard to draw attention to Galizia’s murder and the importance of holding those responsible accountable.
Even within the European Parliament, Maltese conservative member Roberta Metsola has refused to let Galizia's murder remain unsolved. He has incessantly mentioned that the Maltese government is not innocent in the matters of corruption and money laundering and by not “revealing” those responsible for Galizia’s death, they are committing a crime. He supported the civic society movement fighting corruption in Malta.
In fact, this exemplary behavior of Metsola actually became a very beautiful example for many members within the European Parliament regarding injustices within their own countries.
Generally speaking, members of the European Parliament love to fight injustices outside the EU; however, when there is an attack against Muslims or mosques in their countries, their reaction for some reason is always rather weak. In fact, most of them do not even react. When the judiciary is ineffective, members of the European Parliament often feel it is their duty to defend wrongdoings in their countries.
Metsola did not do so.
Maltese citizens too did not remain indifferent toward these events. Thousands of Maltese took to the streets for the murdered journalist and spoke out against corruption. The EU could no longer remain indifferent to the actions of Maltese citizens protecting the law and EU values that were not working properly in their country. This week the European Parliament, which had sent a committee to Malta in December to interfere, became an important platform where important decisions and speeches were made regarding Malta.
The European public has taken notice. What is happening in Malta is no longer hidden behind closed doors.
At the EU leaders' summit, which was conducted in Malta at the beginning of this month, Maltese President Joseph Muscat received harsh feedback.
As expected, the EU Commission took action. EU Commission Vice President Vera Jourova made a rather harsh speech aimed at Malta in the European Parliament's meeting in Strasbourg this week and mentioned her expectations of the country's government, speaking in a clear and understandable tone. She demanded that the justice system hold people accountable regarding corruption and money laundering, despite internal pressure from powerful individuals.
In the meantime, Muscat, whose close circle is accused of being affiliated with the murder of Galizia, declared that he will be stepping down from the office in January 2020 – a move he should have made long ago.
Yes, Galizia's case may finally get the attention it deserves.
The new EU Commission has gotten off to a good start regarding the subject.
Before criticizing non-EU member states on every matter, the EU first has to become an example itself. Malta is a good start.
According to the report the EU Commission released in October regarding corruption, two EU member states still have serious problems. According to the report, Bulgaria has taken extensive steps to eliminate corruption but has been unsuccessful. Romania, on the other hand, is being criticized for not taking any steps regarding the fight against corruption.
Clearly, EU member states still have a lot to do regarding persistent corruption.
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