- Title: EU lawmakers say Malta PM poses risk to murder inquiry
- Date: 18th December 2019
- Summary: STRASBOURG, FRANCE (FILE - MARCH 25, 2019) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EU PARLIAMENT
- Embargoed: 1st January 2020 13:34
- Keywords: Daphne Caruana Galizia EU European Commission European Parliament Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat Vote investigation judiciary murder
- Location: STRASBOURG, FRANCE / VALLETTA AND BIDNIJA, MALTA
- City: STRASBOURG, FRANCE / VALLETTA AND BIDNIJA, MALTA
- Country: France
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002BAI6SLJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The European Parliament adopted on Wednesday (December 18) a resolution saying the investigation into the 2017 murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia could be 'compromised' if Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stayed in office.
Muscat's former chief of staff, Keith Schembri, resigned in November after he was arrested and questioned by investigators over corruption claims allegedly put forward by a businessman suspected of being an accomplice in the murder. Muscat has said he will resign in mid-January once a new leader of his Labour Party is picked but the European Parliament had told EU leaders last Thursday that Muscat should go immediately to ensure the investigation is not compromised.
During a debate held on Tuesday at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg, Spanish lawmaker Esteban Gonzalez Pons called on Muscat to step down.
Also present at the debate, EU justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told lawmakers the EU executive would evaluate steps taken by Malta to ensure the independence of judicial appointments and dismissals and a separate prosecution service.
Caruana Galizia, a campaigning journalist who regularly accused government ministers and business leaders of corruption, was killed by a car bomb as she drove out of her house in October 2017.
(Production Clement Rossignol)
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