STATEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF MALTA: Government reacts to preliminary findings by representatives of PEN International, ECPMF, CPJ, RSF, IPI and EFJ of their mission to Malta

The Government of Malta joins the international institutions; PEN International, ECPMF, CPJ, RSF and EFJ, in stressing the need that justice is served in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The Government reiterates its full support towards local and international investigators who are conducting a thorough and serious investigation – so much so, that in less than 50 days three Maltese citizens were arraigned to Court accused of murdering Ms Caruana Galizia.

The Government also agrees with the five international organisations that the free press is crucial and a sine qua non in a democracy and the Government is fully committed to keep strengthening freedom of expression in Malta.

This was evidenced with the recent promulgation of the new Media and Defamation Act which is one of the most progressive legislations in Europe and outside the continent as it did not only strike off criminal libel in whatever form from our law books, but also implemented a wide array of reforms which increased journalistic freedoms.

In the past six years, during the first and its current second legislature, the Government has embarked on a wide range of reforms which strengthened the rule of law and bolstered democracy with the introduction of new legislation which brought Malta at par with European best practices in many areas of governance.

Therefore, it looks forward to implement further reforms as might be suggested by the Venice Commission from whom the Government itself has requested a legal review.

The Government remains committed to engage with all bona fide international institutions and foster a deep dialogue, ultimately for the benefit of democracy, civil freedoms and the rule of law.

Source: Government of Malta

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