“The rule of law in Malta is seriously undermined by the extreme weakness of its system of checks and balances,” a committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has concluded.
Approving a report by Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD) today in Paris, PACE’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights listed a series of “major scandals” in Malta in recent years, linking them to what it called “fundamental weaknesses” in the rule of law in Malta.
In a draft resolution, the committee said certain individuals involved in these scandals seemed to “enjoy impunity, under the personal protection of Prime Minister Muscat”.
Among other things, the parliamentarians called on:
• Malta to urgently implement, in their entirety, reforms recommended by Council of Europe constitutional experts (the Venice Commission) and its anti-corruption body (GRECO);
• Malta’s Prime Minister to refrain from making further judicial appointments until the procedure has been reformed in line with Venice Commission recommendations;
• Maltese law enforcement bodies to “robustly investigate and prosecute” those involved in or benefiting from the scandals exposed by Daphne Caruana Galizia and her colleagues.
The committee also listed a series of “serious concerns” over the investigations into the journalist’s murder, and demanded the setting up of an independent public inquiry into the question within three months.