Mr Pieter Omtzigt’s report as rapporteur on the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia is riddled with inaccurate and gratuitous statements exposing a very biased agenda which is not based on the true picture of the matter. 

The Government makes it clear that the process regarding the motion originally presented in the Parliamentary Assembly by Mr Omtzigt is still ongoing and is not public. The Government and government MPs respect the Council of Europe’s rules of procedure about the confidentiality of processes and meetings. 

Unfortunately, our policy is not followed by all in the Council of Europe and an example of this was the leaking to the media of the Draft Report. The Government notes the very dubious timing of the leak, just days before the European elections. The leak was intended to create a hostile and unreceptive environment towards Malta and to pre-empt any effort to have the report discussed in any spirit of objectivity.  In fact, the report itself is a reflection of deep animosity against Malta.

This attitude is very dangerous from a democratic point of view. International institutions cannot just pass one-sided reports against a country by sheer force of numbers.  It is clear that the Rapporteur, amongst other matters having himself previously written to the Committee of Ministers to take action against Malta and having had his request rejected, was not the best placed person to take on this role. 
Mr Pieter Omtzigt is not new to controversy. He had come under fire over claims that he helped a fake witness to the MH17 disaster over Ukraine infiltrate a briefing attended by victims’ relatives.

He himself had admitted to have behaved inappropriately on the matter.

The report in fact represents the very biased views of a small fraction of Maltese Opposition politicians who appear to have kept close to the Rapporteur and who have formed alliances with various vested interest groups who, for one reason or another, have an interest in damaging Malta’s reputation and in isolating Malta from Europe. 

The manifest disregard for basic fairness and the barefaced manipulation of the scenario are the most worrying aspects of this episode. The Maltese Government MPs are making their case as forcefully as possible to the Parliamentary Assembly with a full report which gives a detailed picture of the extent of manipulation in the report presented to the Parliamentary Assembly.  

Unfortunately, the attempt to rush this report through without regard to basic fact-checking betrays an attitude which is far from giving a true picture of the situation in Malta.