News World Malta's PM Muscat should resign now, European Parliament tells EU leaders

Malta’s PM Muscat should resign now, European Parliament tells EU leaders

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat should resign immediately to avoid risks of political interference with the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the European Parliament told EU leaders on Thursday.

Muscat said on Dec. 1 he will resign in mid-January once a new leader of his Labour Party is picked. He took the step after his former chief of staff, Keith Schembri, was briefly arrested by police investigating the case.

Caruana Galizia’s family say they suspect Muscat’s government of a cover-up. Muscat denies any wrongdoing, as does Schembri, who resigned in late November.

In a letter delivered to leaders of EU countries as they met in Brussels on Thursday for a summit, the European Parliament urged the leaders to take a stance, saying a mission of lawmakers to the island had found the situation “alarming”.

Muscat’s “delayed” resignation “constitutes a serious risk, real or perceived, the murder investigation and connected investigations will be compromised,” the lawmakers wrote.

Before the meeting, dozens of people demonstrated in front of the Maltese permanent representation to the EU against Muscat’s participation in the summit.

“Shame on you!”, they shouted holding an image of Muscat with the writing “murderers” on it. They plastered a wall in front of the headquarters of the European Commission with the same image.

The EU leaders should not accept Muscat at their meeting, Andrew Caruana Galizia, one of the sons of the murdered journalist, told Reuters on the sidelines of the protest.

Muscat was photographed shaking hands with EU leaders at the summit later on Thursday.

The head of the centre-right grouping in the EU Parliament, Manfred Weber of Germany, told journalists it was a “huge scandal” that Muscat was still in office. He called for his immediate resignation.

The political stability of the tiny Mediterranean island has been rocked in recent weeks by the fallout from the murder of the anti-corruption journalist, who was blown up by a car bomb in 2017.

Two people were accused of planting the bomb but for nearly two years police were unable to say who hired them. Last month, a man given immunity from prosecution confessed to being the middleman.

Since then, a businessman was charged with plotting the crime. Muscat’s government denied him a request for immunity in return for testimony he said would implicate senior officials.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Set your clocks-go back an hour tomorrow for the winter time

  Clocks go back an hour tomorrow for the winter time, though it still doesn't really feel like winter, mostly weather wise. At four tomorrow morning,...

Dozens of Covid charges as authorities intensify checks

  Police charged 34 individuals and 7 people with various offences connected to violations of relevant decrees against the spread of the coronavirus over the...

Europe braces for lengthy battle with Covid, as winter looms

  Europe faces a lengthy battle against the coronavirus at least until mid-2021, France warned, as anxious governments introduced even more restrictions to curb the...

Turkey continues provocations with a series of Navtex

  Turkey continued raising the ante in the Eastern Mediterranean, by issuing a series of illegal maritime advisories for the region. The first two NAVTEX are...

Temperatures on the up, 35 today as dust remains

  A warm air current is still affecting the region, with thin dust persisting in the atmosphere and not clearing before Monday. Clear skies initially today...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...