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World Pope meets with embattled Malta PM despite plea to cancel

23:00  07 december  2019
23:00  07 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Pope Francis held a private audience with outgoing Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Saturday, despite a plea to cancel the meeting over a scandal-hit investigation into the murder of a journalist. The Argentine pontiff met Muscat and his family for an event the Vatican said had been

The private meeting is due to go ahead despite calls in Malta for the pope to cancel it amid a political crisis triggered by the murder of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Reports in the Maltese press said the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, had cancelled a meeting with Muscat in Rome, but

Pope Francis held a private audience with outgoing Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Saturday, despite a plea to cancel the meeting over a scandal-hit investigation into the murder of a journalist.

a group of people standing on top of a cutting board with a cake: Pope Francis and Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat meet at the Vatican, despite calls from academics for the pontiff to cancel the event© Handout Pope Francis and Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat meet at the Vatican, despite calls from academics for the pontiff to cancel the event

The Argentine pontiff met Muscat and his family for an event the Vatican said had been scheduled months ago.

Muscat said Sunday he will step down in January after mass protests over a much-criticised probe into the 2017 murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, which has also led to the resignations of his chief of staff and tourism minister.

Malta PM to resign amid journalist murder probe protests

  Malta PM to resign amid journalist murder probe protests Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, under fire over his handling of the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, said Sunday he would step down after his replacement is chosen in January. Muscat said he would resign after his successor is chosen by January 12. Earlier Sunday, the Labour leader got the unanimous backing of party MPs at an emergency meeting called a day after tycoon Yorgen Fenech was charged with complicity in the murder. A court has also frozen Fenech's assets.The investigation has rocked the southern Mediterranean island, reaching the highest echelons of government.

The Holy See has confirmed that a meeting between Pope Francis and Malta ’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, remains on the papal schedule for Saturday, despite pressing requests from Maltese citizens and civic action groups that it be cancelled , and as calls continue for the embattled Mr Muscat’s

Critics of Malta ’s embattled prime minister Joseph Muscat are urging Pope Francis not to receive him in an audience reportedly scheduled for this weekend. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta (Getty). Pope Francis is due to receive Joseph Muscat on Saturday.

Twenty-two Maltese academics sent the pope a letter, dated before Muscat's decision to step down, asking Francis to cancel a meeting they slammed as a "propaganda exercise" for the prime minister.

They said it would be "totally unwise, and pastorally undesirable" for the audience at the Vatican to take place, "given the serious and grave nature of the accusations and allegations which are plaguing" the government in Valletta.

Caruana Galizia, a mother of three described as a "one-woman WikiLeaks", was blown up in a car bomb attack near her home in October 2017.

The reporter had become known for exposing cronyism and sleaze within the country's political and business elite, including among Muscat's inner circle.

Francis joined the cries of outrage across the globe over her slaying, sending a rare formal note of condolences, which are usually reserved for the deaths of prominent world leaders rather than private citizens.

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