Monday 22 October 2018

Three charged with murder of journalist who fought corruption

Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed by a car bomb. Photo: AP
Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed by a car bomb. Photo: AP

Chris Scicluna

Three men were charged in Malta yesterday with murder over a car bomb blast that killed anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Ms Caruana Galizia died instantly when her car was blown up as she drove out of her home on October 16.

The killing shocked Malta and raised concern within the European Union about the rule of law on the tiny Mediterranean island.

The men were named as Vince Muscat and brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio.

It was not immediately clear whether police thought they had acted on their own or were hitmen working for others. All three pleaded not guilty.

Ms Caruana Galizia (53) wrote a popular blog in which she relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged graft targeting politicians of all colours, including Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Vince Muscat is not a relative of the prime minister.

Police arrested 10 men on Monday in connection with their investigation.

It was not clear if the remaining seven suspects would be released or be charged at a later date.

A close friend of Ms Caruana Galizia said she did not think the journalist had ever investigated the three men charged yesterday.

Just before her death, Caruana Galizia had posted on her closely followed blog, 'Running Commentary', that there were "crooks everywhere" in Malta.

Malta has a reputation as a tax haven in the European Union and has attracted companies and money from outside Europe.

Last week, a visiting delegation of European Parliament lawmakers left the island after expressing concerns over the rule of law in the country.

They issued a warning that the "perception of impunity in Malta cannot continue".

Irish Independent

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